Rhinoceros / A play | Eugène Ionesco, 1959



Le Rhinocéros, pièce en trois actes et quatre tableaux, 1959                                                                                                                         Eugène Ionesco


“Berenger: And you consider all this natural? 

Dudard: What could be more natural than a rhinoceros? 

Berenger: Yes, but for a man to turn into a rhinoceros is abnormal beyond question. 

Dudard: Well, of course, that's a matter of opinion ... 

Berenger: It is beyond question, absolutely beyond question! 

Dudard: You seem very sure of yourself. Who can say where the normal stops and the abnormal begins? Can you personally define these conceptions of normality and abnormality? Nobody has solved this problem yet, either medically or philosophically. You ought to know that. 

Berenger: The problem may not be resolved philosophically -- but in practice it's simple. They may prove there's no such thing as movement ... and then you start walking ...
 [he starts walking up and down the room] ... and you go on walking, and you say to yourself, like Galileo, 'E pur si muove' ... 

Dudard: You're getting things all mixed up! Don't confuse the issue. In Galileo's case it was the opposite: theoretic and scientific thought proving itself superior to mass opinion and dogmatism. 


Rhinoceros  Eugène Ionesco, Acte I, Jean (William Sabatier) and  Bérenger (Jean Louis Barrault), first performance, Théâtre de l'Odéon, January 20, 1960 


Berenger: [quite lost] What does all that mean? Mass opinion, dogmatism -- they're just words! I may be mixing everything up in my head but you're losing yours. 
You don't know what's normal and what isn't any more. I couldn't care less about Galileo ... I don't give a damn about Galileo. 

Dudard: You brought him up in the first place and raised the whole question, saying that practice always had the last word. Maybe it does, but only when 
it proceeds from theory! The history of thought and science proves that. 

Berenger: [more and more furious] It doesn't prove anything of the sort! It's all gibberish, utter lunacy! 

Dudard: There again we need to define exactly what we mean by lunacy ... 

Berenger: Lunacy is lunacy and that's all there is to it! Everybody knows what lunacy is. And what about the rhinoceroses -- are they practice or are they theory?” 


Rhinoceros  Eugène Ionesco, first performance, Théâtre de l'Odéon, January 20, 1960 


''Berenger is unshaven and hatless, with unkempt hair and creased clothes; everything about him indicates negligence. 
He seems weary, half-asleep; from time to time he yawns.''

''Berenger: You deliberately misunderstand me.'' 

“Daisy: I never knew you were such a realist-I thought you were more poetic. Where's your imagination? There are many sides to reality. 
Choose the one that's best for you. Escape into the world of imagination.” 

''Berenger: Can you speak more clearly? I didn’t catch what you said. You swallowed the words.''

“What's chivalrous about saying you've seen a rhinoceros?”  


Rhinoceros, Eugène Ionesco. William Sabatier, Jean Louis Barrault and Simone Velere, Theatre de France Odeon, Paris, January 1960 


''Jean: It’s not that I hate people. I’m indifferent to them—rather they disgust me; and they’d better stay out of my way, or I’ll run them down.'' 

Voice of old man's wife: Jean, don’t stand there gossiping!

''Botard: It’s all a lot of made-up nonsense.
Daisy: But I saw it, I saw the rhinoceros! ''

''Daisy: They’re like gods.''

''Daisy: You shouldn’t have made him angry.
Berenger: It wasn’t my fault. ''

''Grocer's wife: Oh, you always have to be different from everybody else.''

''Waitress: Oh, a rhinoceros! ''


Rhinoceros, Eugène Ionesco, 1960. Jean-Louis Barrault (Béranger)Théâtre de l'Odéon, January 20, 1960 


''Berenger: In any case, to convince them you’d have to talk to them. And to talk to them I’d have to learn their language. Or they’d have to learn mine. But what language do I speak? What is my language? French? Am I talking French? Yes, it must be French. But what is French? I can call it French if I want and nobody can say it isn’t—I’m the only one who speaks it. What am I saying? ''

''Jean: Life is an abnormal business." 

''Berenger: I’ve got no horns. And I never will have.''

''Dudard: I shall keep my mind clear. [He starts to move around the stage in circles]. As clear as it ever was. But if you’re going to criticize, it’s better to do so from the inside. 
I’m not going to abandon them. I won’t abandon them.''

"I'm the last man left, and I'm staying that way until the end. I'm not capitulating!"


 Eugène Ionesco, Le Rhinocéros, 1959


Rhinoceros, Eugène Ionesco, 1960. Simone Valère (Daisy), Gabriel Cattand (Dudard) and Jean-Louis Barrault (Béranger) in the last act of the play.


Also:

Ανθισμένη αμυγδαλιά | Γεώργιος Δροσίνης, 1882

Vincent van Gogh, Almond branches in bloom, 1890


Ἐκoύνησε την ἀνθισμένη μυγδαλια 
με τα χεράκια της 
κι ἐγέμισε ἀπο ανθη ἡ πλάτη, ἡ ἀγκαλια 
και τα μαλλάκια της.

Ἄχ! χιονισμένη σαν την εἶδα την τρελλή 
γλυκά τη φίλησα, 
της τίναξα τα ανθη απ᾿ την κεφαλή 
κι έτσι της μίλησα:

-Τρελλή να φέρεις στα μαλλιά σου τη χιονια 
τι τόσο βιάζεσαι; 
Μόνη της θε να ῾ρθει η βαρυχειμωνιά, 
δεν το στοχάζεσαι;

Του κάκου τότε θα θυμᾶσαι τα παλιά 
τα παιχνιδάκια σου, 
κοντή γριούλα με τα κάτασπρα μαλλιά
και τα γυαλάκια σου.


Ανθισμένη αμυγδαλιά,  Γεώργιος Δροσίνης, 1882




Το ποίημα έγραψε ο Δροσίνης σε νεαρή ηλικία όταν ακόμη δημοσίευε τους στίχους του με το ψευδώνυμο Αράχνη για μια χαριτωμένη μαθήτρια
του Αρσακείου, εξαδέλφη του, που πράγματι συνέβη να κουνήσει την ανθισμένη νεραντζιά του κήπου του και να πέσουν τα άνθη επάνω της.
Η “Ανθισμένη Αμυγδαλιά” δημοσιεύτηκε για πρώτη φορά το 1882, στο σατυρικό περιοδικό “Ραμπαγάς”



Femininity | Eric Rohmer, 1920-2010

Rohmer's La Sonate à Kreutzer, 1956 


“I never said it was her and I thought I'd seen that look before. But every time a woman looks at me 
it feels like déjà vu. Maybe because every time a woman looks at a man, the look is so charged 
with the eternal feminine that there's nothing personal about it. One doesn't see a woman: 
one sees woman.”

Eric Rohmer, 1920-2010


Also:

Sadness / Dream / Perception | Gustave Flaubert, 1821-80



“Sadness is a vice.”

"Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry."

"There is no truth. There is only perception."

"Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough."

"A memory is a beautiful thing, it's almost a desire that you miss."

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

“Doubt is an illness that comes from knowledge and leads to madness.”

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true,
but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”

"To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements
for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.”

“The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.”

“Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.”

“Stupidity lies in wanting to draw conclusions.”

“The more you approach infinity, the deeper you penetrate terror”

“Talent is a long patience, and originality an effort of will and intense observation.”

“By trying to understand everything, everything makes me dream”


Gustave Flaubert, 1821-80


Also:


The Need to go Astray | Georges Bataille, 1944


Le brouillard à Paris: sur un point élevé des Buttes-Chaumont: [photographie de presse] / Agence Mondial, 1932


"The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely 
private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth."

Georges Bataille, Guilty, 1944


Alphabetarion # Waiting | Margery Allingham / Sy Kattleson, 1948

Sy Kattleson, Woman, Third Avenue El, 1948


"Waiting is one of the great arts." 

Margery Allingham 


Margery Louise Allingham (1904-1966) was an English writer of detective fiction, 
best remembered for her "golden age" stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion.


Book//mark - Charlotte's Web | E. B. White, 1952


Charlotte's Web, 1952                                                                               E. B. White


“Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice.

“It is quite possible that an animal has spoken to me and that 
I didn't catch the remark because I wasn't paying attention.”

“We take to the breeze, we go as we please.”

“If I can fool a bug... I can surely fool a man. People are not as smart as bugs.”

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. 
I wove my webs for you because I liked you.

“Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.”

“Wilbur didn't want food, he wanted love.”

“Meetings bore me.”

“Most people believe almost anything they see in print.”

"What's miraculous about a spider's web?" said Mrs. Arable. 
"I don't see why you say a web is a miracle-it's just a web."
"Ever try to spin one?" asked Dr. Dorian.”

“Never hurry and never worry!”

“gloomily. He was sad because his new friend was so bloodthirsty. “Yes,”

“if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is.”

“quickest way to spoil a friendship is to wake somebody up in the morning before he is ready.”

“Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.”

“When your stomach is empty and your mind is full, it's always hard to sleep”

“The light strengthened, the mornings came sooner.”

“Sleep, sleep, my love, my only, Deep, deep, in the dung and the dark; 
Be not afraid and be not lonely! This”


E. B. White, Charlotte's Web, 1952


The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and
his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte.


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