Detailed view for the Book: Rhinoceros and Other Plays (Collection)


Rhinoceros and Other Plays (Collection)





# Date Publisher Binding Cover
1 1960-00-00 John Calder (Publishers)  

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In Rhinoceros, Eugène Ionesco has given us a savage commentary on the absurdity of the human condition made tolerable by self-delusion. He shows us the struggle of the individual to maintain his integrity alone in a world where all others have succumbed to the "beauty" of brute force, natural energy and mindlessness.
A rhinoceros suddenly apears in a small town, trampling through its peaceful streets. Soon there are two, three, until the "movement" becomes universal. In one scene, Ionesco shows us the transformation into a beast of an average citizen who knows he must "move with the times." Arguments echoing with terrible familiarity are marshalled on behalf of the rhinoceros: "it's just a question of personal preference. One must make an effort to understand. To understand is to justify." Finally, only one man remains. "I'm the last man left, and I'm staying that way until the end. I'm not capitulating!"

In Rhinoceros, as in his earlier plays, the comic underlies, then supersedes, the tragic; sense makes nonsense of erstwhile sense. Ionesco confuses the ridiculous and the sublime in order to rid us of their confusions and fusions.

Also included in this volume are two shorter plays, The Leader, and The Future is in Eggs, or It Takes All Sorts to Make a World. Each demonstrates what Ionesco, as a leader of the revolution overtaking our theatrical world, has said about the new drama: "Theater is not literature... It is simply what cannot be expressed by any other means."

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