Who Was Eugene Ionesco


The Birth

Eugene Ionesco was born in 1912. His mother was French and his father a Romanian. His childhood was spent in France.  As a young boy, Eugene Ionesco is told to have experienced spiritual-like illumination suddenly. He felt great peace from within and had floating sensations of being levitated from the ground.  On returning to the ground, he professed that the world was dirty, corrupted, rotten and there were lots of meaningless actions going on. This was a strange juxtaposition that influenced his work and life.

Early life

L’ecrivain Eugene Ionesco (1909-1994) enfant, avec sa soeur Marilina et leur mere Marie-Therese Ipcar c. 1916 — Eugene Ionesco (c, 1909-1994) as a child with his sister Marilina and their mother Marie-Therese Ipcar c. 1916 Copyright Rue Des Archives/Writer Pictures NO FRANCE, NO AGENCY SALES

As a young child, Ionesco moved to Paris so that his father could pursue law. But soon Romania entered the war with Austria-Hungary and Germany that his father had to return to his home country to participate in the war. However, after the battle, it was presumed that Eugene’s father was dead in his war efforts, while it came to light that his father divorced his mother and remarried in Bucharest.

Ionesco’s mother took to odd jobs to run the family. Between the years 1928 to 1934, Ionesco completed his studies in Bucharest. This is where he met his future wife, Rodica Burleanu and got married to her. They both got married on completing their studies after which he started teaching French, while he also wrote novels, poetry, and literary critiques. He had a daughter, and he wrote incredible children stories for his daughter. The family moved to France, lived in Marseilles during World War II and after the war, relocated to Paris.

Tough Times

Ionesco returned to Paris as he received a prestigious scholarship. He aimed to complete his doctorate in poetry. Thus, he could also escape Romania which was getting deeper into civil unrest. Ionesco escaped the WWII tensions living in France and started serving for the Roman Embassy in Vichy, France. Ionesco worked as the Press Secretary, and this was the time his only child was born. Unfortunately, post-war, he lost his position, and his family suffered a tough financial period, and Ionesco began working as a local editor. He had to correct other’s writings and so was left with no time to do his own writing. However, he always was aware of his secret talent, his writing skills that were still up his sleeve.

Entry into Theater

Ionesco’s life took a better turn in the year 1950 when he obtained French citizenship. This was also the year that saw his first original play premiere, The Bald Soprano. This premier received the attention of critics, and they escalated his career. Ionesco’s absurd style of plays quickly earned him a leading position as the emerging absurd playwrights in the world. However, Ionesco disliked his plays being termed as absurd and throughout the year 1950, he produced many theatrical pieces that helped him earn his bread. Fortunately, in 1957, two of his ridiculous plays ‘The Bald Soprano’ and ‘The Lesson’ were adopted by the Théâtre de la Huchette, and since then these plays have been playing in this venue non-stop. Again, in the 1960s, Ionesco’s work acquired recognition, and his plays were performed on stages in London, Europe, Dusseldorf, Berlin, and in Romania.

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