Eugene Ionesco - Plays - Volume 2 - The New Tenant & Amedee & Victims of Duty


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Eugene Ionesco

Published by John Calder Publications

The early plays of Ionesco are the foundation of what has come to be known as 'the theatre of the absurd', and they remain among his most popular and most often performed work. Written for small theatres, they are increasingly performed in big ones and form an important part of the permanent modern repetory of twentieth century drama

Ionesco's touch is light and depends on his comic but accurate observation of everyday life, and the often surreal situations that occur but often go unnoticed. Ionesco is also adroit at the exploitation of language which can give, distort or negate meaning. Aware of tragedy as of comedy, Ionesco introduces elements of each into the other, so that his blackest plays never lack humour and his most comic ones provoke awareness and insight

'Amedee' is a corpse which the family has murdered many years previously, which grows and grows in the next room while their whole lives become devoted to hiding it; 'The New Tenant' is a frightening vision of a man moving into a new room which is filled with furniture until he is unable to move; and 'Victims of Duty' is a fast-moving thriller that exploits the detective genre in a new way. All the translations are by Donald Watson who has been associated with Ionesco since the mid-1950s, whenthe latter first astonished the complacent theatrical scene of those days

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