Eliade, Cioran, Ionesco: The Treason of the Intellectuals

Joseph Frank

in Responses to Modernity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239252
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823239290 | DOI:
Eliade, Cioran, Ionesco: The Treason of the Intellectuals

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In the aftermath of World War II, there was a great influx of refugees into the United States, three of whom were Mircea Eliade, E. M. Cioran, and Eugène Ionesco. Eliade, the much-admired historian of religion, appears, under a fictitious name, in Saul Bellow's novel Ravelstein. His books on the history of religion elevated him to a commanding height in the field, and he attained fame as a novelist both in his own country and in France. Cioran, known for his brilliantly disillusioned reflections on history and culture, written first in Romanian and then in French, was praised as one of the greatest contemporary stylists in his adopted language. Ionesco pioneered the vogue of the theater of the absurd, and his comic but also symbolically tragic plays were performed everywhere; eventually he was elected to the Académie Française. All three men were the subjects of a fascinating French study, Cioran, Eliade, Ionesco: L'Oubli du fascisme (2002), written by Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine.

Keywords: United States; Mircea Eliade; E. M. Cioran; Eugène Ionesco; religion; history; theater of absurd; Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine

Chapter.  8258 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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