Finished reading the play, The Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco this morning. I was 8 years old when Ionesco wrote this play. I think it’s a play about conformism. Gradually people are turning into rhinoceroses. Ultimately only one man doesn’t turn into a rhinoceros by the end of the play. The stage directions instruct that the sounds of the rhinoceroses off stage become more and more beautiful. That their heads also become more and more beautiful as the play continues.
The last human being ends up talking to a mirror alternating feeling left out of the transformations of his peers and being defiant.
I can see this reflecting the fifties even in France where it was written. Now I have to go back and see how Merton was using this play which was very fresh when he wrote his essay.
I have been fighting melancholia for several days. I hesitate to say I’m depressed because I still function. It’s more like I go blank. Reading over my journals from past years I see this is something that has been with me most of my adult life.
10 minute animated film treatment of main themes of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.
A 2014 production from Chabot College in California. Not terribly good.
I think this “Modern World” sums it up well:
This piece of art is a bit like the ones in the next two links.
The thing I like about this story is that the mayor appears to have inadvertently sent it to the Times.
Every day last year 30K. Wow.