Eugène Ionesco Additional Biography

Biography

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

The writer now known to the world as Eugène Ionesco was born November 26, 1909, as Eugen Ionescu in Slatina, Romania. His father (and namesake) was a Romanian lawyer, and his mother, née Thérèse Ipcar, was the daughter of a French engineer working in Romania. (When fame sought out Ionesco in his early forties, he advanced his publicized birth date to 1912 in an effort to appear younger; as he approached the age of eighty, he reversed his original decision. Many reference sources, however, continue to cite his birth year as 1912 even years after his death at age eighty-four.)

Shortly after Ionesco’s birth, his parents moved to Paris, where his father continued the study of law. In 1911 a daughter, Marilina, was born to the couple and in 1912 another son, Mircea, who would die in infancy of meningitis. In 1916 the elder Eugen Ionescu returned to Romania, presumably to take part in World War I, leaving his family in France. It later turned out that instead of serving in the military, he had joined the government police. After the war, even as his wife assumed that he had died in battle, he had used his political power to arrange for himself a convenient divorce and remarriage, adding insult to injury by demanding (and getting) custody of his children by his first wife. Thus it happened that the twelve-year-old Eugène returned with his sister to Romania, where he would continue and complete his studies.

By 1926, Thérèse Ipcar Ionescu had herself returned to Romania, settling in Bucharest where she found work in a bank. Following a dispute with his father and stepmother, young Eugène sought refuge in his mother’s apartment, to which his sister had already escaped. By the time he completed his secondary education in 1928, he was living in a furnished room at the home of an aunt, his father’s sister. The elder Ionescu, all the while refusing to pay alimony or child support, used his political connections to secure scholarships for his son at the University of Bucharest. Father and son would, however, remain divided on the issue of the son’s studies, with the father favoring engineering over literature. Notwithstanding, the future playwright pursued a degree in French and became a regular contributor of poetry and criticism to various literary magazines. In 1934 he created a minor scandal with a volume entitled simply Nu (No!), a collection of articles questioning most of the major (Romanian) literary figures and movements of the day.

Married in 1936 to Rodica Burileanu, whom he had met during their student days some six years earlier, Ionesco taught French in various Romanian schools, remaining active as a contributor to literary journals. In 1938, he obtained from the Romanian government a grant to study French literature in Paris. His projected thesis, on the themes of sin and death in French poetry since Baudelaire, would remain unfinished and perhaps unwritten as Ionesco read the writings of such thinkers as Nikolai Berdayev, Gabriel Marcel, and Jacques Maritain. With the declaration of World War II in 1939, Ionesco returned with his wife to Romania, where he taught French at a Bucharest secondary school. Before long, however, he thought better of his...

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Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Eugène Ionesco (ee-uh-NEHS-koh) was born in Slatina, Romania, on November 26, 1909. His father, also named Eugène Ionesco, was Romanian, and his mother, Marie-Thérèse Icard Ionesco, was French. The family moved to Paris in 1911. Young Eugène lived there with his mother and his sister until 1922, when his father, who had returned to Romania several years earlier, demanded that his children be sent to him. Eugène thus became a youngster with two countries. He later pointed to that experience as a source of his skepticism because after being taught in France that French was the most beautiful language in the world and the French people were the most courageous, he learned in Bucharest that Romanian was the most beautiful...

(The entire section is 981 words.)

Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Eugène Ionesco’s theater carries elements of daily life to the extreme, gives them a subversive and comical dimension, and expresses the tragedy of the human condition with a wide, liberating laugh. In creating this work, Ionesco played a central role in the invention of a new kind of theater, a theater capable of reflecting the irrationality of humans and the fragility of their world. His plays seemed shocking at the time; they are now classics of the twentieth century.

Biography

(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

The French dramatist Eugène Ionesco (ee-uh-nehs-koh) is noted particularly for his absurdist themes and techniques. He was born to Marie-Thérèse Icard Ionesco, who was French, and Eugène Ionesco, a Romanian lawyer. A year after his birth, the family moved to Paris, where he attended school. When he was eight years old, he became ill, and his mother took Ionesco and his sister to the country and placed them with a farm family at La Chapelle-Anthenaise, a village in Mayenne. In 1925 the family returned to Romania, where Ionesco attended secondary school and learned his native language. Four years later he was admitted to the University of Bucharest as a student of French language and literature. He soon began to write and publish...

(The entire section is 1022 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Eugène Ionesco was born on November 26, 1912, in Slatina, Romania. When he was still an infant, his family moved to Paris, France, where...

(The entire section is 264 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Eugene Ionesco Published by Gale Cengage

Eugene Ionesco (Ionescu) was born in Slatina, Romania, on November 26, 1909, the son of a municipal official and a French mother working as a...

(The entire section is 495 words.)