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The Killer and Other Plays (Improvisation, or the Shepherd's Chameleon & Maid to Marry).

by Eugene Ionesco

Condition: See description


New York, NY Grove Press: Evergreen Original, 1960. Paperback First Edition (1960), so stated. Ninth Printing Thus. Very Good+ in Wraps: shows indications of very careful use: very light wear to the extremities; faint toning to the wrapper covers; the orange portions of the titles at the backstrip are very lightly sunned, but remain bold and clearly legible; former owner's name inscribed at the front free endpaper; the binding remains square and secure; text clean. Remains close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. (8 x 5.4 x 0.45 inches). 159 pages. Translated by Donald Watson. Language: English. Weight: 5.6 ounces. Sewn binding. First Edition (1960), so stated. Ninth Printing Thus. Trade Paperback. With Tueur sans gages, translated as The Killer (1959; his second full-length play, the first being Amédée, ou Comment s'en débarrasser in 1954), Ionesco began to explore more sustained dramatic situations than he had in his earlier plays. The Killer features more humanized characters. Notably this includes Bérenger, a central character in a number of Ionesco's plays. Bérenger is a semi-autobiographical figure expressing Ionesco's wonderment and anguish at the strangeness of reality. He is comically naïve, engaging the audience's sympathy. In The Killer, he encounters death in the figure of a serial killer. In Rhinocéros he watches his friends turning into rhinoceroses one by one until he alone stands unchanged against this mass movement. It is in this play that Ionesco most forcefully expresses his horror of ideological conformism, inspired by the rise of the fascist Iron Guard in Romania in the 1930s. "The Killers" was Ionesco's most ambitious play up to 1960, and I found it very impressive once the full effect of the sets and lighting throughout each of the three acts was apparent. The two shorter works, "Improvisation" and "Maid to Marry" were quite amusing.




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