12 Inspiring Eugène Ionesco Quotes (Free List)

Eugène Ionesco quotes are thought-provoking, memorable and inspiring. From views on society and politics to thoughts on love and life, Eugène Ionesco has a lot to say. In this list we present the 12 best Eugène Ionesco quotes, in no particular order. Let yourself get inspired!

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Eugène Ionesco quotes

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.

— Eugène Ionesco

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.

— Eugène Ionesco

Oh words, what crimes are committed in your name?~Jack or The Submission

— Eugène Ionesco, The Bald Soprano and The Lesson: Two Plays — A New Translation

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.

— Eugène Ionesco, Notes and Counternotes

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.

— Eugène Ionesco

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.

— Eugène Ionesco, Rhinoceros / The Chairs / The Lesson

You can only predict things after they have happened.

— Eugène Ionesco

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

— Eugène Ionesco, Fragments of a Journal

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.

— Eugène Ionesco, The Colonel’s Photograph

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.

— Eugène Ionesco, Fragments of a Journal

A writer never takes a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing

— Eugène Ionesco

The poet cannot invent new words every time, of course. He uses the words of the tribe. But the handling of the word, the accent, a new articulation, renew them.

— Eugène Ionesco

I’ll never waste my dreams by falling asleep. Never again.

— Eugène Ionesco, Man With Bags