Absurd in Literature by Neil Cornwell

By Neil Cornwell

Neil Cornwell's examine, whereas endeavouring to offer an historic survey of absurdist literature and its forbears, doesn't aspire to being an exhaustive background of absurdism. really, it pauses on sure ancient moments, inventive activities, 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 might be of compelling curiosity to a substantial diversity of scholars of comparative, ecu (including Russian and primary ecu) and English literatures (British Isles and American) - in addition to these extra interested in theatre stories, the avant-garde and the heritage of principles (including humour theory). it's going to even have a broad entice the enthusiastic basic reader.

"I think that with any such survey, Cornwell's booklet would be the new ordinary released quantity at the absurd."--Professor Richard J. Lane.

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N. Sazhin, in Kharms, PSS, 2, 472). ‘Alleged’ and ‘Pseudo’ in that this figure, whose writings were first cited at the beginning of the sixth century, has been wrongly identified with Dionysius the Areopagite, a first-century Athenian, converted by St Paul (and also with Denis, patron saint of France). Unamuno reminds us (104): ‘It is conceivable that the universe, as it exists in 30 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 Introductory itself, outside of our consciousness, may be quite other than it appears to us, although this is a supposition that has no meaning for reason’.

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. M. Dostoevskii, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, vol. 28, 1, p. 176). Nietzsche’s comment, in The Anti-Christ, that ‘If this God of the Christians were proved to exist, we should know even less how to believe in him’ (Nietzsche, 1990, 175) seems almost to be a retort to this sentiment of Dostoevsky’s; Nietzsche came late to Dostoevsky, a novelist whom he in many ways admired.

Matthijs van Boxsel, The Encyclopaedia of Stupidity, 2003) There are of course many points of contact between theories of humour or nonsense and the absurd. Richter (71) restates Aristotle’s old definition that ‘the ridiculous stems from harmless incongruity’, but also his caution that not all forms of incongruity or absurdity are comic. For Richter, too, humour is the great leveller, in that ‘before infinity everything is equal and nothing’ (89). Bergson (177) reminds us of Théophile Gautier’s belief that ‘the comic in its extreme form [is] the logic of the absurd’.

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