By Neil Cornwell
Neil Cornwell's examine, whereas endeavouring to provide an old survey of absurdist literature and its forbears, doesn't aspire to being an exhaustive background of absurdism. really, it pauses on convinced historic moments, creative routine, literary figures and chosen works, prior to relocating directly to talk about 4 key writers: Daniil Kharms, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien.
The absurd in literature may be of compelling curiosity to a substantial diversity of scholars of comparative, eu (including Russian and significant ecu) and English literatures (British Isles and American) - in addition to these extra fascinated with theatre stories, the avant-garde and the heritage of principles (including humour theory). it may actually have a vast attract the enthusiastic normal reader.
"I think that with this kind of survey, Cornwell's publication may be the new commonplace released quantity at the absurd."--Professor Richard J. Lane.
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Extra info for Absurd in Literature
Noel Malcolm’s more recent anthology establishes the genuine earlier English tradition (from Shakespearean times) and there were even older European analogues. Clearly, there have to be at least some affinities between nonsense and the absurd. According to one near-comprehensive explorer of the field of nonsense, Wim Tigges, nonsense is essentially ‘a narrative genre in which the seeming presence of one or more “sensible” meanings is kept in balance by a simultaneous absence of such a meaning’ (Tigges, 1988, 255).
Such comic fools may descend from the mimus of antiquity, as does the phenomenon of the court jester (Esslin, Th. 7 Jung links the figure of the ‘trickster’ to the medieval description of the devil as simia dei (the ape of God) and earlier representations as ‘a forerunner of the saviour’, down to ‘the carnival figures of Pulcinella and the clown’ and what he sees as ‘a collective shadow figure’ (see Jung, 255–72). Harlequin, according to Edith Welsford, was ‘an odd hybrid creature, in part a devil created by popular fancy, in part a wandering mountebank from Italy’, at times represented as a ‘diabolical acrobat’ (Welsford, 289–90); he was also descended or transformed from the ‘devil Erl-King’ (Bakhtin, 1968, 267).
As Richard Sheppard puts it (341): ‘To affirm the absurd spontaneity of life by concatenating meaningless words and phrases may be philosophically defensible, but over several pages it becomes an empty exercise’. ‘To Chestov, reason is useless but there is something beyond reason. To an absurd mind reason is useless and there is nothing beyond reason’ (Camus, Myth, 38; 93). K. Ogden], reprinted (London: Routledge) 2001. According to Umberto Eco, ‘Leibniz was convinced that [his] calculus had a metaphysical foundation because it reflects the dialectic between God and The theoretical absurd 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 29 Nothingness’, suggesting too that the inventor of calculus was Hermes Trismegistus (Eco, 1999, 70; 74).