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The Chairs

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,387 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In a house on an island a very old couple pass their time with private games and half-remembered stories. With brilliant eccentricity, Ionesco's 'tragic farce' combines a comic portrait of human folly with a magical experiment in theatrical possibilities.
Paperback, 60 pages
Published December 6th 2007 by Faber & Faber (first published 1951)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareWaiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Best Plays Ever
196th out of 582 books — 757 voters
Ultima noapte de dragoste, întîia noapte de război by Camil PetrescuCel mai iubit dintre pământeni by Marin PredaMaitreyi by Mircea EliadeMoromeții I by Marin PredaPădurea spânzuraţilor by Liviu Rebreanu
Best Romanian Literature
100th out of 248 books — 324 voters

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Community Reviews

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Huda Yahya

الكراسي ليوجين يونسكو

قيل أن مسرح العبث يبدو وكأنه مخلوقا فرنسيا
فرواده أداموف و يونسكو و بيكيت برغم أصولهما المختلفة
كتبوا أغلب نصوصهم بالفرنسية
مما يثير حيرة وتعجب البعض

والكراسي لا تشذ عن هذه القاعدة
فقد كتبها يونسكو بالفرنسية ونشرها لأول مرة عام 1951

وهي واحدة من أشهر مسرحيات العبث في تاريخ الأدب
ومن أكثرها جمالا كذلك


في ظاهرها تبدو المسرحية بلا معنى من أي نوع
مجرد هذيان كتابي لا تخرج منه بشيء
وفي الحقيقة الأمر بعيد كل البعد عن ذلك
والمتعة العقلية التي ننالها من مسرحية كهذه ليست بالهينة

تحكي المسر
Ahmad Sharabiani
نمایشنامه «صندلیها»، درباره زن و شوهر پیری است، که در یک جزیره دورافتاده، زندگی میکنند. صحنه نمایش پر است از صندلیهایی که جای نشستن مدعوین خیالی مهمانی آنهاست. مهمانانی از طبقات مختلف جامعه، حتی شخص امپراتور هم به مهمانی آمدهاند تا به داستان زندگی زن و شوهر گوش کنند. «یونسکو» در باره این نمایشنامه میگوید: مضمون نمایشنامه پیام نیست. نه شکستهای زندگی است، نه شکست معنوی پیرمرد و پیرزن، بلکه صندلیهاست، یعنی غیبت اشخاص، غیبت امپراطور ... غیبت ماده، خلا فلسفی، موضوع نمایشنامه همان «هیچ» است. ا. شربیان ...more
پیرمرد و پیرزنی صندلی ها را برای مهمانانی که نمی بینیم، مرتب می کنند. مهمانان که از همه ی مردم جهان اند، قرار است برای شنیدن کشفیات پیرمرد در مورد معنای زندگی جمع شوند. همه چیز به جهان پس از مرگ شبیه است و بنظر می رسد که پیرمرد و پیرزن آخرین دو نفر روی زمین باشند. از طریق صحبت آنها، می فهمیم که میهمانان یکی یکی وارد می شوند، به ویژه حضور امپراطور نامرئی که سبب شادی پیرمرد است. وقتی بالاخره پیرمرد حاضر می شود تا برای جمعیت صحبت کند، همه چیز خلاف انتظار پیش می رود. وقتی بالاخره سخن ران شروع می کند ...more
A crazy crazy play to say the least. Try ot understand it if you dare. There are so many ways to interpret this play but ultimately I think I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see it staged. I think that with Absurd drama that is the only way to get SOME grasp of what is really going on, or the true feel of the play. Two old people going in and out of many doors bringing hundreds of chairs into a room full of visitors that are not there. You try to understand. Honestly earth shattering stuff...... Love th ...more
Les Chaises is, so far, my favorite play of Ionesco's.
It took me an absurdly (...i love puns) long time to read it, mainly because I only found it in French and had to first brush up what French I used to know 7 years ago, but every single damn unknown word was worth it.
Plus, I can read in French again, so double win.

Michelle Lynne
I loved reading The Chairs. The plot in itself and the concept of trying to find the meaning of life, when the endeavour in itself seems almost pointless, was really interesting to read about. I loved the absurdist and existential themes.
What is the meaning of life?

Can we really know the answer to that eternal question?

Or better yet, can we handle the answer to that question?

Is that the reason the chairs are empty, because no human being can truly know the answer and still be alive, still exist as a rational human being?

Are the chairs empty because the guests are there in flesh but their mind is not really present, because they don't want the truth, or can't handle the truth?

The Old Man, the Old Woman the deaf-mute Orator, an
Rick Homuth
Of the three of his I've read so far, this play is probably the closest to what I'd call "traditional" absurdist theatre (which is an oxymoron itself and should make it all the more apparent that I don't really know what I'm talking about). One of the key issues with describing the movement (again, from what I've observed) is that each artists' body of work is so incredibly different; "The Chairs," however, definitely has a Beckettian air about it.
Kauane Borges
Of the four of his plays I've read so far, this is probably the closest to what I'd call traditional absurdist theatre. One of the key issues with describing the movement is that each artists body of work is so incredibly different.
Karla Hernández Krugmann
El teatro del absurdo no es adecuada para mi.
Todo el tiempo intenté seguir el mensaje de trasfondo, pero tantas incoherencias me distraían. Sillas. Sillas. Sillas. Me preguntaba que importancia tenían las sillas, pues se repetía la palabra casi en cada linea. Creí que enloquecería si continuaba leyendo.
Personas invisibles hablando con otras personas invisibles. La Bella. El Emperador. La Dama. La Anciana hablando con personas invisibles y el Anciano hablando con un Emperador invisible. Oh, es
Incredibil de ciudata. Multe posibile explicatii pentru comportamentul personajelor.
One of the most genius plays I've ever read. Ionesco is a master.
Ahmed Azimov

أول تجربه لي مع مسرح يونيسكو ، أسلوب جذاب ومختلف ، مسرحياته بها شخصيات كثيره - عاملين زحمه على المسرح - رغم وهميتهم ، إلا ان فكرته التي عبَر عليها مثيره للاهتمام ، وقتلني ضَحِكا في أكثر من حوار ، والنهاية فشيخه
je suis d'une avidité insatiable. A tel point je suis épuisé par les désirs et par les festins, et d'être trop comblé, plein et vide à la fois, que je tombe, j'en crève[...]
Je ne vois plus l'être.
I do believe this is one of my favorite plays. Thanks to [once again] my English teacher, this was recommended to me because of my penchant for stranger reads. Boy did it deliver.
I can tell this must be an amazing play to see, but all I could muster up while reading it was polite interest.
This play is my favorite one.. I enjoyed studying and reading it..
Akash Bhattacharya
an amazing play for performance, but it makes a lukewarm read
The most haunting of all of Ionesco's works. AMAZING on stage.
This is one of the most powerful endings I've ever read.
Me llenó de ideas jiji :D
Bien, mais bizarre...
Like, like, like!
Simon added it
Oct 07, 2015
Dino marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
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Eugène Ionesco, born Eugen Ionescu, was a Romanian and French playwright and dramatist; one of the foremost playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd. Beyond ridiculing the most banal situations, Ionesco's plays depict in a tangible way the solitude and insignificance of human existence.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.
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