Is it still necessary to introduce Eugène Ionesco? The French-Romanian playwright, who was one of the most important founders of the absurd theatre? He wrote numerous plays, among others La cantatrice chauve, which is still staged the same way as in the 1950s at the Théâtre de la Huchette in Paris, or Rhinocéros.

But many in the audience probably don’t know about his only novel, Le Solitaire, published in 1973. The novel tells about the contemporary world as it is seen by a man who separates himself from the world. A 35-year-old man gets a huge heritage from an American uncle he didn’t know about, and decides to quit his job and to buy a big and new apartment in the Parisian suburbs. He lives alone, and observes people around him, being busy and running in all directions, without understanding. The society is exploding, revolution is starting… and time passes, he just grows older.

Ionesco also wrote a theatrical adaptation of the novel, Ce formidable bordel!

The novel has been translated into Finnish in 1976 (Erakko, WSOY, transl. Olli-Matti Ronimus)  and Swedish (Enstöringen , transl. Tora Nordström-Bonnier, Bonnier, 1975).