Saturday, 11 October 2014

Absurd Literature or Absurd School- a short summary

The term absurd literature is applied to a number of works in drama and prose fiction which have in common, the sense that the human condition is essentially absurd and that this condition can adequately be represented only in works of literature that are themselves absurd. Alfred Jarry's French play Ubu Roi(1896)
is regarded as the first work of absurd school. The roots of this genre can be traced back to the movements of expressionism and surrealism as well as in the fictions of Franz Kafka.

                       This movement emerged in France, mainly after the world war II, as rebellion against the essential values of traditional culture and literature. This type of literature was also a revolt against the earlier tradition that viewed human beings as fairly rational creatures who live in an atleast partially intelligible universe. The proponents of this school such as Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus view human being as an isolated existent who is ordered to live an alienated life in an unintelligible universe, to conceive the universe as possessing no inherent truth, value or meaning. The notable works that fall under this category of literature include: The Myth of Sisyphus(1942) by Albert Camus, The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco and works of Samuel Beckett such as Waiting for Godot(1954) and Endgame(1958). Another French playwright of the absurd was Jean Genet. Some of the works by Harold Pinter and Edward Albee too reflect absurdism.
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