'I've been telling myself for a considerable time that I ought to begin my real work,' he writes, 'for after all, the theatre is not my true vocation.' Literature is vain: the written word suspect. 'As soon as I say to myself that these pages may perhaps be published, their truth is corrupted.'
The real work is one's personal search for what life and death mean: 'I ought to have embarked long ago on this stubborn quest for knowledge and self-knowledge. If I'd set about it in time, I might have achieved something. Instead of writing literature] What a waste of time; I thought I had all of life ahead of me. Now time is pressing, the end is near . . .'.
The obituarists will assess the meaning and influence of Ionescu's works, and his importance considered theatrically. What I most value is his Zen-like realisation that meaning is beyond words, that each of us must trawl our own independent truth: 'A civilisation based on words is a lost civilisation.'
Brighton, East Sussex
29 MarchReuse content