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Rhinoceros and Other Plays by Eugene Ionesco

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Rhinoceros and Other Plays by Eugene Ionesco.

Translated by Derek Prouse.

Published by Grove Press in the 1960s (seventeenth printing).

Cover design by Roy Kuhlman.



142 pages / 5.4 x 8 x .4 inches / 13.8 x 20.4 x 1.2 centimeters


Please see the images above for an accurate representation of what the book looks like, but...

Some creasing / fading to the covers.

Name written on first page


In Rhinoceros, Eugene 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 and identity alone in a world where all others have succumbed to the "beauty" of brute force, natural energy, and mindlessness.

A rhinoceros suddenly appears 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 marshaled 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 ot 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: "Theatre is not literature...It is simply what cannot be expressed by any other means."

A Rumanian-born Frenchman, Eugene Ionesco ranks with Samuel Beckett, Arthur Adamov, and Jean Vauthier among the contemporary leading exponents of the experimental European theater. Rhinoceros has seen successful productions in France and in Germany, and a Broadway production has been scheduled. His earlier plays, including The Killer, The Bald Soprano, The Lesson, The CHairs, and The New Tenant, have all been produced in this country, and are published in Evergreen Books.

Rhinoceros and Other Plays by Eugene Ionesco


  • Vintage item from the 1960s
  • Material: book
  • Ships worldwide from Maine, United States
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