Theatre of the Absurd

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The Theatre of the Absurd (French: Théâtre de l'Absurde) is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1950s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work expressed what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down, alerting their audiences to pursue the opposite. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.[1]

Critic Martin Esslin coined the term in his 1960 essay "Theatre of the Absurd." He related these plays based on a broad theme of the Absurd, similar to the way Albert Camus uses the term in his 1942 essay, "The Myth of Sisyphus".[2] The Absurd in these plays takes the form of man’s reaction to a world apparently without meaning, and/or man as a puppet controlled or menaced by invisible outside forces. Though the term is applied to a wide range of plays, some characteristics coincide in many of the plays: broad comedy, often similar to Vaudeville, mixed with horrific or tragic images; characters caught in hopeless situations forced to do repetitive or meaningless actions; dialogue full of clichés, wordplay, and nonsense; plots that are cyclical or absurdly expansive; either a parody or dismissal of realism and the concept of the "well-made play".

Playwrights commonly associated with the Theatre of the Absurd include Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Fernando Arrabal, Václav Havel and Edward Albee.

Origin[edit]

The term was coined by the critic Martin Esslin, who made it the title of a book on the subject first published in 1961 and in two later revised editions; the third and final edition appeared in 2004 (in paperback with a new foreword by the author). In the first edition of The Theatre of the Absurd, Esslin saw the work of these playwrights as giving artistic meaning to Albert Camus's philosophy that life is inherently without meaning, as illustrated in his work The Myth of Sisyphus. In the first (1961) edition, Esslin presented the four defining playwrights of the movement as Samuel Beckett, Arthur Adamov, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Genet, and in subsequent editions he added a fifth playwright, Harold Pinter–although each of these writers has unique preoccupations and characteristics that go beyond the term "absurd."[3][4] Other writers associated with this group by Esslin and other critics andria include Tom Stoppard,[5] Friedrich Dürrenmatt,[6] Fernando Arrabal,[7] Edward Albee,[8] Boris Vian,[9] and Jean Tardieu.[3][4][7]

Significant precursors[edit]

Though the label "Theatre of the Absurd" covers a wide variety of playwrights with differing styles, they do have some common stylistic precursors (Esslin [1961]).

Elizabethan - Tragicomedy[edit]

The mode of most "absurdist" plays is tragicomedy.[10][11] As Nell says in Endgame, "Nothing is funnier than unhappiness ... it's the most comical thing in the world".[12] Esslin cites William Shakespeare as an influence on this aspect of the "Absurd drama."[13] Shakespeare's influence is acknowledged directly in the titles of Ionesco's Macbett and Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Friedrich Dürrenmatt says in his essay "Problems of the Theatre", "Comedy alone is suitable for us ... But the tragic is still possible even if pure tragedy is not. We can achieve the tragic out of comedy. We can bring it forth as a frightening moment, as an abyss that opens suddenly; indeed, many of Shakespeare's tragedies are already really comedies out of which the tragic arises."[14]

Though layered with a significant amount of tragedy, the Theatre of the Absurd echoes other great forms of comedic performance, according to Esslin, from Commedia dell'arte to Vaudeville.[10][15] Similarly, Esslin cites early film comedians and music hall artists such as Charlie Chaplin, The Keystone Cops and Buster Keaton as direct influences (Keaton even starred in Beckett's Film in 1965).[16]

Formal experimentation[edit]

As an experimental form of theatre, many Theatre of the Absurd playwrights employ techniques borrowed from earlier innovators. Writers and techniques frequently mentioned in relation to the Theatre of the Absurd include the 19th-century nonsense poets, such as Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear;[17] Polish playwright Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz;[18] the Russians Daniil Kharms,[19] Nikolai Erdman,[20] and others; Bertolt Brecht's distancing techniques in his "Epic theatre";[21] and the "dream plays" of August Strindberg.[3][22]

One commonly cited precursor is Luigi Pirandello, especially Six Characters in Search of an Author.[22][23] Pirandello was a highly regarded theatrical experimentalist who wanted to bring down the fourth wall presupposed by the realism of playwrights such as Henrik Ibsen. According to W. B. Worthen, Six Characters and other Pirandello plays use "Metatheatreroleplaying, plays-within-plays, and a flexible sense of the limits of stage and illusion—to examine a highly-theatricalized vision of identity".[24]

Another influential playwright was Guillaume Apollinaire whose The Breasts of Tiresias was the first work to be called "surreal".[25][26][27]

Pataphysics, Surrealism, and Dadaism[edit]

One of the most significant common precursors is Alfred Jarry whose wild, irreverent, and lascivious Ubu plays scandalized Paris in the 1890s. Likewise, the concept of 'Pataphysics–"the science of imaginary solutions"–first presented in Jarry's Gestes et opinions du docteur Faustroll, pataphysicien (Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, pataphysician)[28] was inspirational to many later Absurdists,[26] some of whom joined the Collège de 'pataphysique, founded in honor of Jarry in 1948[25][29] (Ionesco,[30] Arrabal, and Vian[30][31] were given the title Transcendent Satrape of the Collège de 'pataphysique). The Alfred Jarry Theatre, founded by Antonin Artaud and Roger Vitrac, housed several Absurdist plays, including ones by Ionesco and Adamov.[32][33]

Artaud's "The Theatre of Cruelty" (presented in The Theatre and Its Double) was a particularly important philosophical treatise. Artaud claimed theatre's reliance on literature was inadequate and that the true power of theatre was in its visceral impact.[34][35][36] Artaud was a Surrealist, and many other members of the Surrealist group were significant influences on the Absurdists.[37][38][39]

Absurdism is also frequently compared to Surrealism's predecessor, Dadaism (for example, the Dadaist plays by Tristan Tzara performed at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich).[40] Many of the Absurdists had direct connections with the Dadaists and Surrealists. Ionesco,[41][42] Adamov,[43][44] and Arrabal[45] for example, were friends with Surrealists still living in Paris at the time including Paul Eluard and André Breton, the founder of Surrealism, and Beckett translated many Surrealist poems by Breton and others from French into English.[46][47]

Relationship with Existentialism[edit]

The Theatre of the Absurd is commonly associated with Existentialism, and Existentialism was an influential philosophy in Paris during the rise of the Theatre of the Absurd; however, to call it Existentialist theatre is problematic for many reasons. It gained this association partly because it was named (by Esslin) after the concept of "absurdism" advocated by Albert Camus, a philosopher commonly called Existentialist though he frequently resisted that label. Absurdism is most accurately called Existentialist in the way Franz Kafka's work is labeled Existentialist: it embodies an aspect of the philosophy though the writer may not be a committed follower.[48] As Tom Stoppard said in an interview, "I must say I didn't know what the word 'existential' meant until it was applied to Rosencrantz. And even now existentialism is not a philosophy I find either attractive or plausible. But it's certainly true that the play can be interpreted in existential terms, as well as in other terms."[49]

Many of the Absurdists were contemporaries with Jean-Paul Sartre, the philosophical spokesman for Existentialism in Paris, but few Absurdists actually committed to Sartre's own Existentialist philosophy, as expressed in Being and Nothingness, and many of the Absurdists had a complicated relationship with him. Sartre praised Genet's plays, stating that for Genet "Good is only an illusion. Evil is a Nothingness which arises upon the ruins of Good".[50]

Ionesco, however, hated Sartre bitterly.[51] Ionesco accused Sartre of supporting Communism but ignoring the atrocities committed by Communists; he wrote Rhinoceros as a criticism of blind conformity, whether it be to Nazism or Communism; at the end of the play, one man remains on Earth resisting transformation into a rhinoceros[52][53] Sartre criticized Rhinoceros by questioning: "Why is there one man who resists? At least we could learn why, but no, we learn not even that. He resists because he is there".[54][55] Sartre's criticism highlights a primary difference between the Theatre of the (blue, white and red) Absurd and Existentialism: The Theatre of the Absurd shows the failure of man without recommending a solution.[56] In a 1966 interview, Claude Bonnefoy, comparing the Absurdists to Sartre and Camus, said to Ionesco, "It seems to me that Beckett, Adamov and yourself started out less from philosophical reflections or a return to classical (blue) sources, than from first-hand experience and a desire to find a new theatrical expression that would enable you to render this experience in all its acuteness and also its immediacy. If Sartre and Camus thought out these themes, you expressed them in a far more vital contemporary fashion". Ionesco replied, "I have the feeling that these writers – who are serious and important -- were talking about absurdity and death, but that they never really lived these themes, that they did not feel them within themselves in an almost irrational, visceral way, that all this was not deeply inscribed in their language. With them it was still rhetoric, eloquence. With Adamov and Beckett it really is a very naked reality that is conveyed through the apparent dislocation of language".[57]

In comparison to Sartre's concepts of the function of literature, Samuel Beckett's primary focus was on the failure of man to overcome "absurdity"; as James Knowlson says in Damned to Fame, Beckett's work focuses "on poverty, failure, exile and loss — as he put it, on man as a 'non-knower' and as a 'non-can-er' ."[58] Beckett's own relationship with Sartre was complicated by a mistake made in the publication of one of his stories in Sartre's journal Les Temps Modernes.[59] Beckett said, though he liked Nausea, he generally found the writing style of Sartre and Heidegger to be "too philosophical" and he considered himself "not a philosopher".[60]

History[edit]

The "Absurd" or "New Theater" movement was originally a Paris-based (and a Rive Gauche) avant-garde phenomenon tied to extremely small theaters in the Quartier Latin. Some of the Absurdists, such as Jean Genet,[61] Jean Tardieu,[62] and Boris Vian.,[63] were born in France. Many other Absurdists were born elsewhere but lived in France, writing often in French: Samuel Beckett from Ireland;[62] Eugène Ionesco from Romania;[62] Arthur Adamov from Russia;[62] Alejandro Jodorowsky from Chile and Fernando Arrabal from Spain.[64] As the influence of the Absurdists grew, the style spread to other countries–with playwrights either directly influenced by Absurdists in Paris or playwrights labelled Absurdist by critics. In England some of whom Esslin considered practitioners of "the Theatre of the Absurd" include: Harold Pinter,[62] Tom Stoppard,[65] N. F. Simpson,[62] James Saunders,[66] and David Campton;[67] in the United States, Edward Albee,[62] Sam Shepard,[68] Jack Gelber,[69] and John Guare;[70] in Poland, Tadeusz Różewicz,[62] Sławomir Mrożek,[62] and Tadeusz Kantor;[71] in Italy, Dino Buzzati;[72] and in Germany, Peter Weiss,[73] Wolfgang Hildesheimer,[62] and Günter Grass.[62] In India, both Mohit Chattopadhyay[74] and Mahesh Elkunchwar[74] have also been labeled Absurdists. Other international Absurdist playwrights include: Tawfiq el-Hakim from Egypt;[75] Hanoch Levin from Israel;[76] Miguel Mihura from Spain;[77] José de Almada Negreiros from Portugal;[78] Mikhail Volokhov from Russia; Yordan Radichkov from Bulgaria;[79] and playwright and former Czech President Václav Havel,[62] and others from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.[citation needed]

Major productions[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Echoes of elements of "The Theatre of the Absurd" can be seen in many later playwrights, from more avant-garde or experimental playwrights like Suzan-Lori Parks–in The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World and The America Play,[102] for example–to relatively realistic playwrights like David Mamet–in Glengarry Glen Ross, which Mamet dedicated to Harold Pinter.[103][104][citation needed] Irish playwright Martin McDonagh in plays such as Pillowman[105] addresses some of the themes and uses some of the techniques of Absurdism, especially reminiscent of Beckett[106] and Pinter.[107][108]

In addition, the absurd drama has also found its way in Urdu literature, Mazaron Ke Phool [i.e. Graveyard Flowers](2008) by contemporary Pakistani writer, poet and columnist Mujtaba Haider Zaidi is the first absurd drama in the history of Urdu literature. Created in the pattern of ancient Greek tragedies, the drama contains only two characters, and carries both poetry and prose in it, and hence fulfills all the requirements necessary for a perfect Absurd drama.[citation needed]

Theatrical features[edit]

Plays within this group are absurd in that they focus not on logical acts, realistic occurrences, or traditional character development; they, instead, focus on human beings trapped in an incomprehensible world subject to any occurrence, no matter how illogical.[109][110][111] The theme of incomprehensibility is coupled with the inadequacy of language to form meaningful human connections.[25] According to Martin Esslin, Absurdism is "the inevitable devaluation of ideals, purity, and purpose"[112] Absurdist drama asks its viewer to "draw his own conclusions, make his own errors".[113] Though Theatre of the Absurd may be seen as nonsense, they have something to say and can be understood".[114] Esslin makes a distinction between the dictionary definition of absurd ("out of harmony" in the musical sense) and drama's understanding of the Absurd: "Absurd is that which is devoid of purpose... Cut off from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots, man is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless".[115]

Characters[edit]

The characters in Absurdist drama are lost and floating in an incomprehensible universe and they abandon rational devices and discursive thought because these approaches are inadequate.[116] Many characters appear as automatons stuck in routines speaking only in cliché (Ionesco called the Old Man and Old Woman in The Chairs "uber-marrionettes").[117][118] Characters are frequently stereotypical, archetypal, or flat character types as in Commedia dell'arte.[119][120][121]

The more complex characters are in crisis because the world around them is incomprehensible.[121] Many of Pinter's plays, for example, feature characters trapped in an enclosed space menaced by some force the character can't understand. Pinter's first play was The Room – in which the main character, Rose, is menaced by Riley who invades her safe space though the actual source of menace remains a mystery[122] – and this theme of characters in a safe space menaced by an outside force is repeated in many of his later works (perhaps most famously in The Birthday Party). In Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Visit the main character, Alfred, is menaced by Claire Zachanassian; Claire, richest woman in the world with a decaying body and multiple husbands throughout the play, has guaranteed a payout for anyone in the town willing to kill Alfred.[123] Characters in Absurdist drama may also face the chaos of a world that science and logic have abandoned. Ionesco's recurring character Berenger, for example, faces a killer without motivation in The Killer, and Berenger's logical arguments fail to convince the killer that killing is wrong.[124] In Rhinocéros, Berenger remains the only human on Earth who hasn’t turned into a rhinoceros and must decide whether or not to conform.[125][126] Characters may find themselves trapped in a routine or, in a metafictional conceit, trapped in a story; the titular characters in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, for example, find themselves in a story (Hamlet) in which the outcome has already been written.[127][128]

The plots of many Absurdist plays feature characters in interdependent pairs, commonly either two males or a male and a female. Some Beckett scholars call this the "pseudocouple".[129][130] The two characters may be roughly equal or have a begrudging interdependence (like Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot[127] or the two main characters in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead); one character may be clearly dominant and may torture the passive character (like Pozzo and Lucky in Waiting for Godot or Hamm and Clov in Endgame); the relationship of the characters may shift dramatically throughout the play (as in Ionesco's The Lesson[131] or in many of Albee's plays, The Zoo Story[132][133] for example).

Language[edit]

Despite its reputation for nonsense language, much of the dialogue in Absurdist plays is naturalistic. The moments when characters resort to nonsense language or clichés–when words appear to have lost their denotative function, thus creating misunderstanding among the characters–make the Theatre of the Absurd distinctive.[25][134] Language frequently gains a certain phonetic, rhythmical, almost musical quality, opening up a wide range of often comedic playfulness.[135] Jean Tardieu, for example, in the series of short pieces Theatre de Chambre arranged the language as one arranges music.[136] Distinctively Absurdist language will range from meaningless clichés to Vaudeville-style word play to meaningless nonsense.[131][137] The Bald Soprano, for example, was inspired by a language book in which characters would exchange empty clichés that never ultimately amounted to true communication or true connection.[138][139] Likewise, the characters in The Bald Soprano–like many other Absurdist characters–go through routine dialogue full of clichés without actually communicating anything substantive or making a human connection.[140][141] In other cases, the dialogue is purposefully elliptical; the language of Absurdist Theater becomes secondary to the poetry of the concrete and objectified images of the stage.[142] Many of Beckett's plays devalue language for the sake of the striking tableau.[143] Harold Pinter–famous for his "Pinter pause"–presents more subtly elliptical dialogue; often the primary things characters should address are replaced by ellipsis or dashes. The following exchange between Aston and Davies in The Caretaker is typical of Pinter:

ASTON. More or less exactly what you...
DAVIES. That's it ... that's what I'm getting at is ... I mean, what sort of jobs ... (Pause.)
ASTON. Well, there's things like the stairs ... and the ... the bells ...
DAVIES. But it'd be a matter ... wouldn't it ... it'd be a matter of a broom ... isn't it?[144]

Much of the dialogue in Absurdist drama (especially in Beckett's and Albee's plays, for example) reflects this kind of evasiveness and inability to make a connection.[132] When language that is apparently nonsensical appears, it also demonstrates this disconnection. It can be used for comic effect, as in Lucky's long speech in Godot when Pozzo says Lucky is demonstrating a talent for "thinking" as other characters comically attempt to stop him:

LUCKY. Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment...[145]

Nonsense may also be used abusively, as in Pinter's The Birthday Party when Goldberg and McCann torture Stanley with apparently nonsensical questions and non-sequiturs:

GOLDBERG. What do you use for pajamas?
STANLEY. Nothing.
GOLDBERG. You verminate the sheet of your birth.
MCCANN. What about the Albigensenist heresy?
GOLDBERG. Who watered the wicket in Melbourne?
MCCANN. What about the blessed Oliver Plunkett?
GOLDBERG. Speak up Webber. Why did the chicken cross the road?[146]

As in the above examples, nonsense in Absurdist theatre may be also used to demonstrate the limits of language while questioning or parodying the determinism of science and the knowability of truth.[147][148][149][citation needed] In Ionesco's The Lesson, a professor tries to force a pupil to understand his nonsensical philology lesson:

PROFESSOR. ... In Spanish: the roses of my grandmother are as yellow as my grandfather who is Asiatic; in Latin: the roses of my grandmother are as yellow as my grandfather who is Asiatic. Do you detect the difference? Translate this into ... Romanian
PUPIL. The ... how do you say "roses" in Romanian?
PROFESSOR. But "roses", what else? ... "roses" is a translation in Oriental of the French word "roses", in Spanish "roses", do you get it? In Sardanapali, "roses"...[150]

Plot[edit]

Traditional plot structures are rarely a consideration in The Theatre of the Absurd.[151] Plots can consist of the absurd repetition of cliché and routine, as in Godot or The Bald Soprano.[152] Often there is a menacing outside force that remains a mystery; in The Birthday Party, for example, Goldberg and McCann confront Stanley, torture him with absurd questions, and drag him off at the end, but it is never revealed why.[153] In later Pinter plays, such as The Caretaker[154] and The Homecoming,[155] the menace is no longer entering from the outside but exists within the confined space. Other Absurdists use this kind of plot, as in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance: Harry and Edna take refuge at the home of their friends Agnes and Tobias because they suddenly become frightened.[156] They have difficulty explaining what has frightened them:

HARRY: There was nothing ... but we were very scared.
EDNA: We ... were ... terrified.
HARRY: We were scared. It was like being lost: very young again, with the dark, and lost. There was no ... thing ... to be ... frightened of, but ...
EDNA: WE WERE FRIGHTENED ... AND THERE WAS NOTHING.[157]

Absence, emptiness, nothingness, and unresolved mysteries are central features in many Absurdist plots:[158] for example, in The Chairs an old couple welcomes a large number of guests to their home, but these guests are invisible so all we see is empty chairs, a representation of their absence.[159] Likewise, the action of Godot is centered around the absence of a man named Godot, for whom the characters perpetually wait. In many of Beckett's later plays, most features are stripped away and what's left is a minimalistic tableau: a woman walking slowly back and forth in Footfalls,[160] for example, or in Breath only a junk heap on stage and the sounds of breathing.[161][162]

The plot may also revolve around an unexplained metamorphosis, a supernatural change, or a shift in the laws of physics. For example, in Ionesco's Amédée, or How to Get Rid of It, a couple must deal with a corpse that is steadily growing larger and larger; Ionesco never fully reveals the identity of the corpse, how this person died, or why it's continually growing, but the corpse ultimately – and, again, without explanation – floats away.[163][164] In Jean Tardieu's "The Keyhole" a lover watches a woman through a keyhole as she removes her clothes and then her flesh.[165]

Like Pirandello, many Absurdists use meta-theatrical techniques to explore role fulfillment, fate, and the theatricality of theatre. This is true for many of Genet's plays: for example, in The Maids, two maids pretend to be their masters; in The Balcony brothel patrons take on elevated positions in role-playing games, but the line between theatre and reality starts to blur. Another complex example of this is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: it's a play about two minor characters in Hamlet; these characters, in turn, have various encounters with the players who perform The Mousetrap, the play-within-the-play in Hamlet.[127][166] In Stoppard's Travesties, James Joyce and Tristan Tzara slip in and out of the plot of The Importance of Being Earnest.[167]

Plots are frequently cyclical:[131] for example, Endgame begins where the play ended[168] – at the beginning of the play, Clov says, "Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished"[169] – and themes of cycle, routine, and repetition are explored throughout.[170]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, Millennium Edition, Helicon 1999.
  2. ^ http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/Slavonic/Absurd.htm
  3. ^ a b c Martin Esslin, The Theatre of the Absurd (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961). (Subsequent references to this ed. appear within parentheses in the text.)
  4. ^ a b Martin Esslin, The Theatre of the Absurd, 3rd ed. (New York: Vintage [Knopf], 2004). (Subsequent references to this ed. appear within parentheses in the text.)
  5. ^ Terry Hodgson. The plays of Tom Stoppard: for stage, radio, TV and film.Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. ISBN 1-84046-241-8, ISBN 978-1-84046-241-8.pg.181.
  6. ^ Joel Agee. Dürrenmatt, Friedrich: Friedrich Dürrenmatt.University of Chicago Press, 2006. ISBN 0-226-17426-3, ISBN 978-0-226-17426-6. pg. xi
  7. ^ a b Felicia Hardison Londré, Margot Berthold. The history of world theater: from the English restoration to the present. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999. ISBN 0-8264-1167-3, ISBN 978-0-8264-1167-9. pg. 438
  8. ^ Barbara Lee Horn. Edward Albee: a research and production sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-313-31141-2, ISBN 978-0-313-31141-3. pg. 13, 17 29, 40, 55, 232.
  9. ^ Neil Cornwell. The Absurd in Literature. Manchester University Press ND, 2006. ISBN 0-7190-7410-X. pg. 280.
  10. ^ a b Esslin, pg. 323-324
  11. ^ J. L. Styan. Modern Drama in Theory and Practice. Cambridge University Press, 1983 ISBN 0-521-29629-3, pg. 125
  12. ^ Samuel Beckett. Endgame: a play in one act, followed by Act without words, a mime for one player. Grove Press, 1958. ISBN 0-8021-5024-1. pg. 18-19.
  13. ^ Esslin, pg. 321-323
  14. ^ Friedrich Dürrenmatt. "Problems of the Theatre". The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi. Grove Press, 1964. ISBN 394171985. pg. 30-31.
  15. ^ Styan, pg. 126
  16. ^ Esslin, pg. 325
  17. ^ Esslin, pg. 330-331
  18. ^ Esslin, pg. 382-385
  19. ^ Neil Cornwell. The absurd in literature. Manchester University Press ND, 2006. ISBN 0-7190-7410-X. pg. 143.
  20. ^ John Freedman. The major plays of Nikolai Erdman: The warrant and The suicide. Routledge, 1995.ISBN 3718655837. xvii.
  21. ^ Esslin, pg. 365-368
  22. ^ a b J. L. Styan. The dark comedy: the development of modern comic tragedy. Cambridge University Press, 1968. ISBN 0-521-09529-8. pg. 217.
  23. ^ Annette J. Saddik. Ed. "Experimental Innovations After the Second World War". Contemporary American Drama.Edinburgh University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-7486-2494-5.pg. 28
  24. ^ Worthen, pg. 702
  25. ^ a b c d Allan Lewis. "The Theatre of the 'Absurd' -- Beckett, Ionesco, Genet". The Contemporary Theatre: The Significant Playwrights of Our Time. Crown Publishers, 1966. pg. 260
  26. ^ a b Rupert D. V. Glasgow. Madness, Masks, and Laughter: An Essay on Comedy. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8386-3559-8. pg. 332.
  27. ^ Deborah B. Gaensbauer. The French theater of the absurd. Twayne Publishers, 1991. ISBN 0-8057-8270-2. pg. 17
  28. ^ Jill Fell. Alfred Jarry, an imagination in revolt. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8386-4007-9. pg. 53
  29. ^ Esslin, pag. 346-348
  30. ^ a b Raymond Queneau, Marc Lowenthal. Stories & remarks.U of Nebraska Press, 2000 ISBN 0-8032-8852-2, ISBN 978-0-8032-8852-2. pg. ix-x
  31. ^ David Bellos. Georges Perec: a life in words : a biography. David R. Godine Publisher, 1993. ISBN 0-87923-980-8, ISBN 978-0-87923-980-0. pg.596
  32. ^ Esslin, pg. 373.
  33. ^ Cornwell, pg.170
  34. ^ Antonin Artaud The Theatre and Its Double. Tr. Mary Caroline Richards. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1958., pg. 15-133.
  35. ^ Styan, Modern pg. 128
  36. ^ Saddik, pg. 24-27.
  37. ^ Esslin, pg. 372-375.
  38. ^ Mel Gussow. Theatre on the edge: new visions, new voices. Hal Leonard Corporation, 1998. ISBN 1-55783-311-7. pg. 303.
  39. ^ Eli Rozik. The roots of theatre: rethinking ritual and other theories of origin. University of Iowa Press, 2002. ISBN 0-87745-817-0. pg. 264.
  40. ^ Richard Drain. Twentieth-century theatre: a sourcebook. Routledge, 1995. ISBN 0-415-09619-7. pg. 5-7, 26.
  41. ^ Eugène Ionesco. Present past, past present: a personal memoir. Da Capo Press, 1998. ISBN 0-306-80835-8. pg. 148.
  42. ^ Lamont, pg. 41-42
  43. ^ Esslin, pg. 89
  44. ^ Justin Wintle. Makers of modern culture. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-415-26583-5. pg. 3
  45. ^ C. D. Innes. Avant garde theatre, 1892-1992.Routledge, 1993. ISBN 0-415-06518-6. pg. 118.
  46. ^ James Knowlson. Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett. London. Bloomsbury Publishing, 1997. ISBN 0-7475-3169-2., pg. 65
  47. ^ Daniel Albright. Beckett and aesthetics.Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-82908-9. pg. 10
  48. ^ Wesley Barnes. The Philosophy and Literature of Existentialism. Barron's Educational Series, 1968. ISBN 0-7641-9154-3. pg. 31-32.
  49. ^ Roger Hudson, Catherine Itzin, and Simon Trussler. "Ambushes for the Audience: Toward a High Comedy of Ideas". Tom Stoppard in conversation. Ed. Paul Delaney. University of Michigan Press, 1994. ISBN 0-472-06561-0. pg. 58.
  50. ^ Jean-Paul Sartre. "Introduction to The Maids; and Deathwatch" The Maids; and Deathwatch. Grove Press, 1962. ISBN 0-8021-5056-X. pg. 11.
  51. ^ Eugène Ionesco. Present Past, Past Present. Da Capo Press, 1998. ISBN 0-306-80835-8. pg. 63.
  52. ^ Eugène Ionesco. Fragments of a Journal. Tr. Jean Stewart. London: Faber and Faber, 1968. pg. 78.
  53. ^ Rosette C. Lamont. Ionesco's imperatives: the politics of culture. University of Michigan Press, 1993. ISBN 0-472-10310-5. pg. 145.
  54. ^ "Beyond Bourgeois Theatre" 6
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Works cited[edit]

  • Artaud, Antonin. The Theatre and Its Double. Tr. Mary Caroline Richards. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1958.
  • Esslin, Martin. Absurd Drama. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin, 1965.
  • –––. The Theatre of the Absurd. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961.
  • –––. The Theatre of the Absurd. 3rd ed. With a new foreword by the author. New York: Vintage (Knopf), 2004. ISBN 978-1-4000-7523-2 (13).
  • Jacobus, Lee A. The Bedford Introduction to Drama. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2005.
  • Ionesco, Eugène. Fragments of a Journal. Tr. Jean Stewart. London: Faber and Faber, 1968.
  • Knowlson, James. Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett. New York: Grove P, 1996.
  • Sartre, Jean-Paul. "Beyond Bourgeois Theatre", Tulane Drama Review 5.3 (Mar. 1961): 6.
  • –––. "Introduction". The Maids and Deathwatch, by Jean Genet. Tr. Bernard Frechtman. New York: Grove P, 1954.
  • Watt, Stephen and Gary A. Richardson, eds. American Drama: Colonial to Contemporary. Boston: Thompson, 2003.
  • Worthen, W. B., ed. The Wadsworth Anthology of Drama. 5th ed. Boston: Thompson, 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ackerley, C. J. and S. E. Gontarski, ed. The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett. New York: Grove P, 2004.
  • Baker, William, and John C. Ross, comp. Harold Pinter: A Bibliographical History. London: The British Library and New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll P, 2005. ISBN 1-58456-156-4 (10). ISBN 978-1-58456-156-9 (13).
  • Bennett, Michael Y. Reassessing the Theatre of the Absurd: Camus, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, and Pinter. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. ISBN 978-0-230-11338-1
  • Brook, Peter. The Empty Space: A Book About the Theatre: Deadly, Holy, Rough, Immediate. Touchstone, 1995. ISBN 0-684-82957-6 (10).
  • Caselli, Daniela. Beckett's Dantes: Intertextuality in the Fiction and Criticism. ISBN 0-7190-7156-9.
  • Cronin, Anthony. Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist. New York: Da Capo P, 1997.
  • Gaensbauer, Deborah B. Eugène Ionesco Revisited. New York: Twayne, 1996.
  • Lewis, Allan. Ionesco. New York: Twayne, 1972.
  • McMahon, Joseph H. The Imagination of Jean Genet. New Haven: Yale UP, 1963.
  • Driver, Tom Faw. Jean Genet. New York: Columbia UP, 1966.
  • Mercier, Vivian. Beckett/Beckett. Oxford UP, 1977. ISBN 0-19-281269-6.
  • La Nouvelle Critique, numéro spécial Arthur Adamov, août-septembre 1973.
  • Jacqueline Adamov, Censure et représentation dans le théâtre d’Arthur Adamov, in P. Vernois (Textes recueillis et présentés par), L’Onirisme et l’insolite dans le théâtre français contemporain. Actes du colloque de Strasbourg, Paris, Editions Klincksieck, 1974.

External links[edit]