Famous Quotes & Sayings

Eugene Ionesco Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Eugene Ionesco.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pinterest Share on Linkedin

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1137718

There are more dead people than living. And their numbers are increasing. The living are getting rarer. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2211041

It's not that I hate people. I'm just indifferent to them - or rather, they disgust me; and they'd better keep out of my way, or I'll run them down. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 705696

I just can't get used to life. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 241464

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1774983

We are all looking for something of extraordinary importance whose nature we have forgotten; I am writing the memoirs of a man who has lost his memory. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 828200

God is dead. Marx is dead. And I don't feel so well myself. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 871701

A civil servant doesn't make jokes. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1472966

I am, it seems, an avant-garde dramatist. It would even seem obvious since I am present here at discussions on the avant-garde theatre. It is all entirely official. But what does the term avant-garde mean? — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1541816

People, they all have the word goodness on lips a bloody knife between their teeth. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1499584

Politicians are either there or here or totally at home. Their finitude is more than sufficient unto itself. I don't mean to imply that I'm any better than they which does not mean that they are any better than I. Which doesn't mean anything at all. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2245426

Solitude seems to oppress me. And so does the company of other people. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2138282

Not so with our characters. They have no metaphysics, no order, no law. They are miserable and they don't know why. They are puppets, undone. In short, they represent modern man. Their situation is not tragic, since it has no relation to a higher order. Instead, it's ridiculous, laughable, and derisory. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1976303

Boredom flourishes too, when you feel safe. It's a symptom of security. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1195109

I ought not to have stirred, I was swept into the dance, caught up in the whirling movement of things. Being in Time means running after the present. You run after things, you run with things, you flow away. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 132506

Every message of despair is the statement of a situation from which everybody must freely try to find a way out. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1685859

Why was I born, if it wasn't forever? — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 133794

I have always considered imaginative truth to be more profound, more loaded with significance, than every day reality ... Everything we dream about, and by that I mean everything we desire, is true (the myth of Icarus came before aviation, and if Ader or Bleriot started flying it is because all men have dreamed of flight). There is nothing truer than myth ... Reality does not have to be: it is simply what is. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 291129

To become conscious of what is horrifying and to laugh at it is to become master of that which is horrifying — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 744630

We are made to be immortal, and yet we die. It's horrible, it can't be taken seriously — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 92867

I thought that it was strange to assume that it was abnormal for anyone to be forever asking questions about the nature of the universe, about what the human condition really was, my condition, what I was doing here, if there was really something to do. It seemed to me, on the contrary, that it was abnormal for people NOT to think about it, for them to allow themselves to live, as it were, unconsciously. Perhaps it's because everyone, all the others, are convinced in some unformulated, irrational way that one day everything will be made clear. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for humanity. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for me. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 112011

Banality is a symptom of non-communication. Men hide behind their cliches. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 116815

Why do people always expect authors to answer questions? I am an author because I want to ask questions. If I had answers, I'd be a politician. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 156872

MR. SMITH: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. [Silence.]
MR. MARTIN: Don't you feel well? [Silence.]
MRS. SMITH: No, he's wet his pants. [Silence.]
MRS. MARTIN: Oh, sir, at your age, you shouldn't. [Silence.]
MR. SMITH: The heart is ageless. [Silence.] — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 189723

Oh righteous doom, that they who make Pleasure their only end, Ordering the whole life for its sake, Miss that whereto they tend. While they who bid stern duty lead, Content to follow, they, Of duty only taking heed, Find pleasure by the way. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 214049

I still forget, sometimes, that I am no longer 12 years old. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 222593

Do rhinoceroses cough? — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 251778

I've always been suspicious of collective truths. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 286498

Mediocrity is more dangerous in a critic than in a writer. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 294962

The brightest light, the light of Italy, the purest sky of Scandinavia in the month of June is only a half-light when one compares it to the light of childhood. Even the nights were blue. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 396531

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. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 424945

A nose that can see is worth two that sniff. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 436037

I have no other pictures of the world apart from those which express evanescence, and callousness, vanity and anger, emptiness, orhideous useless hate. Everything has merely confirmed what I had seen and understood in my childhood: futile and sordid fits of rage, cries suddenly blanketed by the silence, shadows swallowed up for ever by the night. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 447404

I read a page of Plato's great work. I can no longer understand anything, because behind the words on the page, which have their own heavenly brightness, to be sure, there shines an even brighter, an enormous, dazzling -why- that blots out everything, cancels out, destroys all meaning. All individual intelligence. When one has understood, one stops, satisfied with what one has understood. I do not understand. Understanding is far too little. To have understood is to be fixed, immobilized. It is as though one wanted to stop on one step in the middle of a staircase, or with one foot in the void and the other on the endless stair. But a mere why, a new why can set one off again, can unpetrify what was petrified and everything starts flowing afresh. How can one understand? One cannot. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 456697

In the name of religion, one tortures, persecutes, builds pyres. In the guise of ideologies, one massacres, tortures and kills. In the name of justice one punishes ... in the name of love of one's country or of one's race hates other countries, despises them, massacres them. In the name of equality and brotherhood there is suppression and torture. There is nothing in common between the means and the end, the means go far beyond the end ... ideologies and religion ... are the alibis of the means. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 492354

It is true that all authors have tried to make propaganda. The great ones are those who failed, who have gained access, consciously or not, to a deeper and more universal reality. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 559454

Only the ephemeral is of lasting value. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 593557

But even if I know what governs their trajectory, if I know the rules of the movement of things and how things are organized and how certain mutations, transformations, gestations take place, even if I know all that, I shall only have learnt how to get along after a fashion in the enormous gaol, the oppressive prison in which I am held. What a farce, what a snare, what a booby-trap. We were born cheated. For if we are not to know, if there is nothing to know, why do we have this longing to know? — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 594981

I'll never waste my dreams by falling asleep. Never again. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 611543

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 612216

Every work of art (unless it is a psuedo-intellectualist work, a work already comprised in some ideology that it merely illustrates, as with Brecht ) is outside ideology, is not reducible to ideology. Ideology circumscribes without penetrating it. The absence of ideology in a work does not mean an absence of ideas; on the contrary it fertilizes them. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 618616

A work of art really is above all an adventure of the mind. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 632990

I am sad when I think that the years go by like sacks that we mark "Returned Empty," sad when I think that we shall be separated from one another and from ourselves. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 644046

I believe that what separates us all from one another is simply society itself, or, if you like, politics. This is what raises barriers between men, this is what creates misunderstanding.
If I may be allowed to express myself paradoxically, I should say that the truest society, the authentic human community, is extra-social - a wider, deeper society, that which is revealed by our common anxieties, our desires, our secret nostalgias. The whole history of the world has been governed by nostalgias and anxieties, which political action does no more than reflect and interpret, very imperfectly. 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. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 685679

In the history of humanity there are no civilizations or cultures which fail to manifest, in one or a thousand ways, this need for an absolute that is called heaven, freedom, a miracle, a lost paradise to be regained, peace, the going beyond History ... 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 ... Humanity has always had a nostalgia for the freedom that is only beauty, that is only real; life, plenitude, light. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 700620

The fact that I despise religion doesn't mean I don't esteem it highly. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 707196

Childhood is over the moment things are no longer astonishing. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 752710

I don't believe in seeing evil in everything. I leave that to the inquisitors. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 813360

I started writing for the theatre because I hated it. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 820826

As soon as one knows one is going to die, childhood is over ... So one can be grown up at seven. Then, I believe most human beings forget what they have understood, recover another sort of childhood that can last all their lives. It is not a true childhood but a kind of forgetting. Desires and anxieties are there, preventing you from having access to the essential truth. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 908088

The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 911291

All men die in solitude; all values are degraded in a state of misery: that is what Shakespeare tells me — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 917914

People who don't read are brutes. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 925524

A person who has not completely lost the memory of paradise, even though it is a faint one, will suffer endlessly. He will feel the call of the essential world, will hear the voice that comes from so far away that one cannot find out where it comes from, a voice that cannot guide him. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 943730

The critic should describe, and not prescribe. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 955554

Rhinoceros The Leader The Future is in Eggs or It Takes all Sorts to Make a World — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 979614

The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us. When the world seems familiar, when one has got used to existence, one has become an adult. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1011612

We haven't the time to take our time. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1013982

To me the world seems grotesque, absurd, ridiculous, painful. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1031242

We need to be virtually bludgeoned into detachment from our daily lives, our habits and mental laziness, which conceal from us the strangeness of the world. Without a fresh virginity of mind, without a new and healthy awareness of existential reality, there can be no theatre and no art either; the real must be in a way dislocated, before it can be re-integrated. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1087806

It isn't what people think that is important, but the reason they think what they think — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1112734

Good men make good rhinoceroses, unfortunately. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1118911

Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder; as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing. The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1140981

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. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1190645

The supreme trick of mass insanity is that it persuades you that the only abnormal person is the one who refuses to join in the madness of others, the one who tries vainly to resist. We will never understand totalitarianism if we do not understand that people rarely have the strength to be uncommon. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1249423

The Arts are man's most useless ... and essential ... activity. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1332382

Many people have delusions of grandeur but you're deluded by triviality. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1334756

It's only when I say that everything is incomprehensible that I come as close as possible to understanding the only thing it is given to us to understand. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1402740

If I tell these private thoughts of mine, it is because I know they are not mine alone, and that practically everyone is trying to say the same things and that the writer is only a man who says out loud what other people think or whisper. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1431152

Of course, not everything is unsayable in words, only the living truth. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1474547

If one does not understand the usefulness of the useless and the uselessness of the useful, one cannot understand art. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1523059

To tear ourselves away from the everyday, from habit, from mental laziness which hides from us the strangeness of reality, we must receive something like a real bludgeon blow. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1565196

You can only predict things after they have happened. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1581630

I am not capitulating. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1586573

He would say ect. instead of ect., and thus instead of ect., instead of ect. and thus and so forth! — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1639566

All the plays that have ever been written, from ancient Greece to the present day, have never really been anything but thrillers ... Drama's always been realistic and there's always been a detective about ... Every play's an investigation brought to a successful conclusion. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1652096

Truth has only two sides, but it's the third side that's best. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1658092

The more I try to explain myself, the less I understand myself. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1666545

Drama lies in extreme exaggeration of the feelings, an exaggeration that dislocates flat everyday reality. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1667254

But you'll never become a rhinoceros, really you won't ... you haven't got the vocation! — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1674326

She has regular features but yet one could not say that she was pretty. She is too big and too stout. Her features are not regular and yet one could say that she is very pretty. She is too small and too thin. She's a voice teacher — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1687366

It's when I am fully conscious that I ask questions. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1707070

All cats die. Socrates is dead. Therefore Socrates is a cat. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1711405

Year after year of dirty snow and bitter winds ... houses and whole districts of people who aren't really unhappy, but worse, who are neither happy nor unhappy; people who are ugly because they're neither ugly nor beautiful; creatures that are dismally neutral, who long without longings as though they're unconscious, unconsciously suffering from being alive. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1712282

Like all revolutions, the surrealist revolution was a reversion, a restitution, an expression of vital and indispensable spiritual needs. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1724412

As I said, I started with poetry, and I also wrote criticism and dialogue. But I realized that I was most successful at dialogue. Perhaps I abandoned criticism because I am full of contradictions, and when you write an essay you are not supposed to contradict yourself. But in the theater, by inventing various characters, you can. My characters are contradictory not only in their language, but in their behavior as well. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1749327

Shakespeare was the great one before us. His place was between God and despair. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1751571

Everything that has been will be, everything that will be is, everything that will be has been. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1753142

It's not a certain society that seems ridiculous to me, it's mankind, — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1775077

People always try to find base motives behind every good action. We are afraid of pure goodness and of pure evil. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1811189

Realism falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1838522

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. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1868905

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. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 1896234

Oh words, what crimes are committed in your name?

~Jack or The Submission — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2023436

Living is abnormal. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2039095

When silence confronts us, the question to which there is no answer rings out in the silence. That ultimate "why," that great "why" is like a light that blots out everything, but a blinding light; nothing more can be made out ... — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2047921

Within the confines of the great, universal prison, I had made for myself a smaller prison, a prison made to order. I had carved out for myself a little niche in which I could live. It was tiny, I had no doubt about that point. But at least it was made to measure, to my measure. A little niche in a prison that kept me from seeing the prison. A prison without work? Was I bored? Was I resigned? Tired, no doubt. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2083307

Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2135147

I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragoon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2236614

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. — Eugene Ionesco

Eugene Ionesco Quotes 2261996

We haven't the time to take out time. — Eugene Ionesco