Ionesco and the Critics: Eugène Ionesco Interviewed by Gabriel Jacobs

Critical Inquiry 1 (3):641-667 (1975)
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GJ: We've talked a lot about critics who are hostile toward you. Do you ever feel the need to make a stand against those who are favourably inclined toward your plays but whose comments seem to you to be stupid? EI: Well, for better or worse, that's what I've always done: I wrote Notes and Counter-Notes, had discussions with Claude Bonnefoy, I've written articles; and in each case what I've said, in short, is that critics who gave me their approval, did so because they misunderstood me and were mistaken about my intentions. GJ: Finally, are you at all bitter about the critics? EI: No. Many have become good friends of mine. But it is a bit disheartening; when I began, a critic who, shall we say, is on the Right, a conservative critic who is very well-known and has since become a friend of mine, called me an impostor, a fraud, and a dummy; and now, twenty-five years later, the Leftists still call me an impostor, a fraud, and a dummy. GJ: But less often? EI: Well, I suppose so. Eugene Ionesco, renowned by playwright , recently was awarded the International Writer's Prize by the Welsh Arts Council. While in Wales, he was interviewed by Gabriel Jacobs, lecturer in French at University College of Swansea; the interview represents Ionesco's most concerted attempt yet to deal with his critics. He is completing a book on the subject which Gabriel Jacobs will translate into English



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