STORY NUMBER 4: For Children of Any Age by Eugene Ionesco

STORY NUMBER 4: For Children of Any Age

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The fourth of Ionesco's numbered stories harks back to the controversial first, where Josette woke up her hungover parents; here Mama is in the country visiting her Mama (though Papa says to himself ""Who Knows? She might be somewhere else. . ."") but Papa has had ""lots of salami, beer, pork sausages and other things that Mama won't let him eat"" and would prefer not to get up. When Josette persists at the bedroom door he rouses himself and goes to wash and shave, and to keep her from pestering now at the bathroom door he sends her looking for him through the house -- ""Maybe I am in the dining room. . . . Go and see if I am in the kitchen. . . ."" Finally Daddy emerges dressed from the bathroom and ""just then, another door opens. . . and Mama arrives. . . . Just then, Josette wakes up."" Told in the same mock naive style as Number One, this is a more conventional children's story and (even though some of the lines are obviously aimed at parents) less likely to offend children's book professionals. Nicollet's surreality, too, is more everyday than Delessert's and, six years later, has a now familiar cocktail-table-top slickness to it; however he does manage some amusing literal projections (Papa in the oven with the chicken or disappearing through two doors at once) of what might be in Josette's head.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1975
Publisher: Harlin Quist--dist. by Dial/Delacorte