Fragments of a Journal [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 24 (1):137-138 (1970)


The journal begins with random memories and reflections on Ionesco's childhood. These soon blend into adult reflections on dreams and other situations which make the reader wonder if the childhood was not a dream also. Ionesco's preoccupation with his dreams and his belief that they hold the key to ultimate truth is one of the organizing principles of the book. The main secondary theme is his preoccupation with death and with his goal: to learn how to die. Ionesco claims not to take himself too seriously, but the tone of this journal is often one of grim earnestness. Granted, there are some lighter moments, but even these reveal a very deep self concern and more than a frivolous insight--"Is life worth dying for?" There are also the reductionisms of wishing, which only the journal style, with its exemption from the need for development, can produce. Basically what we have here is an anxious, neurotic, insightful man graciously sharing his anxieties, his neuroses, and his insights. The work is catalytic for philosophical reflection.--S. O. H.

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