“If life is absurd for Eugène Ionesco, it is also alluring. His capacity for delight in the details of human existence struggles with his conviction of its futility; it lends depth and verve to his despair.” —Richard Eder, The New York Times

“There is a terrifying, almost suffocating logic about the work of Ionesco. Life, he says, is a grotesque practical joke constantly pulling away chairs from under [human] dignity and reason. Nothing is sane, reality is a hall of distorting mirrors reflecting the grimness of our own pretensions.” —Milton Shulman, The Evening Standard

“[Ionesco was] the Molière of the twentieth century. Like Molière in his late plays, in Ionesco’s plays, there is a seamless amalgam of the comic and tragic.” —Rosette C. Lamont, author of Ionesco’s Imperatives: The Politics of Culture

“Startling and often brilliant. The lack of spiritual content in our civilization has been the major outcry of European drama since Isben. Ionesco has carried this idea to the climactic point of savage caricature.” —Harold Clurman


Tours Festival Prize for film (1959)
Prix Italia (1963)
Society of Authors Theatre Prize (1966)
Grand Prix National for theatre (1969)
Monaco Grand Prix (1969)
Austrian State Prize for European Literature (1970)
Jerusalem Prize (1973)

An Interview with Eugène Ionesco