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Responses to ModernityEssays in the Politics of Culture$
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Joseph Frank

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239252

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239252.001.0001

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Eliade, Cioran, Ionesco: The Treason of the Intellectuals

Eliade, Cioran, Ionesco: The Treason of the Intellectuals

(p.136) 13. Eliade, Cioran, Ionesco: The Treason of the Intellectuals
Responses to Modernity

Joseph Frank

Fordham University Press

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

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