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 historical past of absurdism. relatively, it pauses on yes ancient moments, creative hobbies, 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 variety of scholars of comparative, eu (including Russian and principal eu) and English literatures (British Isles and American) - in addition to these extra serious about theatre stories, the avant-garde and the background of principles (including humour theory). it's going to actually have a extensive attract the enthusiastic basic reader.

"I think that with this sort of survey, Cornwell's publication stands out as the new regular released quantity at the absurd."--Professor Richard J. Lane.

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36 Not necessarily totally unrelated to the foregoing, more will have to be said at a later juncture with regard to madness and the grotesque, as well as to ‘black’ or ‘sick’ humour. Nonsensical returns to the absurd? The stupidity of wisdom can only be accessed through the absurdities in the path of thinking: sophisms, jokes, paradoxes. (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.

Surveyed the surface of things and gave the name reality to what was no more than its own particular way of seeing’. ‘I fear we are not getting rid of God because we still believe in grammar . ’ (Twilight of the Idols: Nietzsche, 1990, 48). According to Joseph Brodsky (287), ‘the presence of the absurd in grammar says something not about a particular linguistic drama but about the human race as a whole’. For that matter, Wittgenstein’s first period is dismissed by some as philosophy, only to be described as ‘philosophic poetry of the highest order’, while, in his second period, he was elaborating an ‘anti-philosophy’ (Strathern, 40; 51).

Furthermore: ‘All philosophy is . . at bottom philology. And philology, with its great and fruitful law of analogical formations, opens wide the door to chance, to the irrational, to the absolutely incommensurable’ (Unamuno, 311). Puns, for instance (and as James Joyce insisted, ‘the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church was built on a pun’), may represent a realm of uncanny semantic foresight, or, for that matter, in Michael Wood’s words, a ‘withering or etiolation of chance, the sense of secret if insane orders behind the ostensibly arbitrary world of signs’ (Wood, 52).

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