By Neil Cornwell
Neil Cornwell's learn, whereas endeavouring to provide an ancient survey of absurdist literature and its forbears, doesn't aspire to being an exhaustive background of absurdism. relatively, it pauses on convinced historic moments, inventive hobbies, literary figures and chosen works, ahead of relocating directly to talk about 4 key writers: Daniil Kharms, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien.
The absurd in literature can be of compelling curiosity to a substantial variety of scholars of comparative, ecu (including Russian and primary eu) and English literatures (British Isles and American) - in addition to these extra eager about theatre reports, the avant-garde and the heritage of rules (including humour theory). it's going to even have a large entice the enthusiastic normal reader.
"I think that with this type of survey, Cornwell's publication stands out as the new usual released quantity at the absurd."--Professor Richard J. Lane.
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Extra resources for Absurd in Literature
Sophocles, no less than ‘Job’s scribe’, conveys this revelation in its absurd clarity. Antecedents to the absurd 35 As the Odysseus of Sophocles puts it, amid this cosmic tyranny: ‘We are no more than dim shapes and weightless shadows’ (Ajax; quoted from Valency, 96). Indeed, Valency asserts: ‘Sophocles . . , 91). Greek tragedy was reconsidered by Artaud in his ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ and by Shestov and Fondane in their ‘philosophy of tragedy’ (Fotiade, 68). Jan Kott, à propos of Shakespeare and Beckett (‘“King Lear”, or Endgame’), links tragedy with the grotesque and the absurd in the following formula (Kott, 108): ‘The tragic situation becomes grotesque when both alternatives of the choice imposed are absurd, irrelevant or compromising.
Satire’, according to Wyndham Lewis, ‘refers to an “expressionist” universe which is receding a little, a little drunken with an overdose of the “ridiculous” – where everything is . . steeped in a philosophic solution of the material, not of mirth, but of the intense and even painful sense of the absurd’ (Lewis, Men Without Art, 1934), quoted from T. , 46–58). For a discussion of Bakhtin and Russian attitudes to ‘impermissible’ laughter see Averintsev, 1993. ‘[A]uthorities on literary wit and humor are venerated usually because they reshaped our culture’s thinking about matters very different from literary wit and humor, or because they talked about wit, Witz, jokes or laughter in ways that conveniently blur literary situations and intentions with much else – pratfalls, playground ridicule, the Medieval carnival, funny faces, physical deformities, locker-room bawdy and so on.
104). ‘Philosophical pessimism in its modern form dates back to Schopenhauer, who interpreted human history as an anarchic and absurd struggle for existence among beings doomed by death’ (Aileen M. Kelly, 346); Kelly (passim) also points to Aleksandr Herzen as a thinker of interest in this tradition. However, for Kierkegaard too, what could give significance must have ‘for us an essentially negative form’ (Weston, 50). Jaspers, who adopted what he called ‘philosophical faith’, is seen as providing a bridge between metaphysics and anti-metaphysics.