Neil Cornwell's Absurd in Literature PDF

By Neil Cornwell

ISBN-10: 071907410X

ISBN-13: 9780719074103

Neil Cornwell's research, whereas endeavouring to offer an ancient survey of absurdist literature and its forbears, doesn't aspire to being an exhaustive heritage of absurdism. relatively, it pauses on sure historic moments, creative activities, literary figures and chosen works, ahead of relocating directly to speak 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 diversity of scholars of comparative, eu (including Russian and valuable ecu) and English literatures (British Isles and American) - in addition to these extra excited about theatre experiences, the avant-garde and the historical past of principles (including humour theory). it's going to even have a huge attract the enthusiastic basic reader.

"I think that with this type of survey, Cornwell's e-book could be the new normal released quantity at the absurd."--Professor Richard J. Lane.

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In addition to laughter, key constituents of the Old Comedy, and of course beyond, were invective, cruelty and misogyny: Segal (30) points out that the ‘comedy of cruelty is found in all cultures, but has been most aptly named by the Germans – Schadenfreude’. Greek tragedy (or ‘goat’s song’4), which returned to the European consciousness at the time of the Italian Renaissance, contains within it, as Maurice Valency has pointed out, the absurd, ‘chthonic poetry’ and darkness; the grandeur that was tragic in classical drama may have dissipated in our modern bourgeois settings, but there does remain ‘the sadness of existence, a deep and poignant pathos’ (Valency, 1; 6).

Merleau-Ponty and Morando (210) recognise, mildly enough, at least the possibility of such questionings and ponderings being regarded as ‘totally futile’, or of their giving rise to ‘a state of philosophical insecurity’. As we have seen, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky, for instance, preferred to obviate the meaningless by leaping into faith (into ‘that unthinkable paradox known to Kierkegaard as faith’: Eagleton, 44; ‘the leap to faith’ is satirised by Donald Barthelme’s story ‘The Leap’: Sixty Stories, 374–80).

Bergson (177) reminds us of Théophile Gautier’s belief that ‘the comic in its extreme form [is] the logic of the absurd’. Such philosophical implications are pointed up too by Tigges (1988, 259), for whom: ‘Nonsense is indeed one possible reflection of life in that it is at 20 Introductory once both and neither meaningful and meaningless. An utterly meaningful life can only exist in a world of dogma, an unfree world’. Malcolm (114) relates certain types of ‘Fool’s foolery’ to nonsense literature, as well as to the ‘deliberate cultivation of absurdity’ – ‘the bathetically absurd, the inconsequential and the mock-gnomic’, identified as ‘characteristics of Foolish humour’.

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Absurd in Literature by Neil Cornwell


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