Eugène Ionesco

French dramatist (born in Romania) who was a leading exponent of the theater of the absurd (1912-1994)

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Banality is a symptom of non-communication. Men hide behind their clichés.
Beauty is a precious trace that eternity causes to appear to us and that it takes away from us. A manifestation of eternity, and a sign of death as well.
Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible.
For me, it is as though at every moment the actual world had completely lost its actuality. As though there was nothing there; as though there were no foundations for anything or as though it escaped us. Only one thing, however, is vividly present: the constant tearing of the veil of appearances; the constant destruction of everything in construction. Nothing holds together, everything falls apart.
I believe that in the history of art and of thought there has always been at every living moment of culture a will to renewal. This is not the prerogative of the last decade only. All history is nothing but a succession of crises -- of rupture, repudiation and resistance. When there is no crisis, there is stagnation, petrifaction and death. All thought, all art is aggressive.
Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
No society has been able to abolish human sadness, no political system can deliver us from the pain of living, from our fear of death, our thirst for the absolute. It is the human condition that directs the social condition, not vice versa.
Since the death instinct exists in the heart of everything that lives, since we suffer from trying to repress it, since everything that lives longs for rest, let us unfasten the ties that bind us to life, let us cultivate our death wish, let us develop it, water it like a plant, let it grow unhindered. Suffering and fear are born from the repression of the death wish.
The universe seems to me infinitely strange and foreign. At such a moment I gaze upon it with a mixture of anguish and euphoria; separate from the universe, as though placed at a certain distance outside it; I look and I see pictures, creatures that move in a kind of timeless time and spaceless space, emitting sounds that are a kind of language I no longer understand or ever register.
There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.
There is nothing truer than myth: history, in its attempt to realize myth, distorts it, stops halfway; when history claims to have succeeded, this is nothing but humbug and mystification. Everything we dream is realizable. Reality does not have to be: it is simply what it is.

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