Download PDF by Neil Cornwell: Absurd in Literature

By Neil Cornwell

ISBN-10: 071907410X

ISBN-13: 9780719074103

Neil Cornwell's examine, whereas endeavouring to provide an historic survey of absurdist literature and its forbears, doesn't aspire to being an exhaustive historical past of absurdism. particularly, it pauses on convinced historic moments, creative pursuits, literary figures and chosen works, sooner than 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 variety of scholars of comparative, ecu (including Russian and important eu) and English literatures (British Isles and American) - in addition to these extra curious about theatre experiences, the avant-garde and the historical past of rules (including humour theory). it may even have a huge entice the enthusiastic basic reader.

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

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Sample text

There is something funny as well as menacing about absurdity’, however, we are reminded by Eagleton (68). For Freud, on the other hand, in his Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (of 1905), ‘it was a vital principle that the comic reside in things inappropriate to an adult’ (Parkin, 95): ‘the subversion of inhibition’ (Palmer, 34), or ‘release’. Freud misses out on incongruity, an essential ingredient later recouped by Koestler (principally in his The Act of Creation, 1964), which may be glossed as a clash of value systems, or ‘the application of a secondary value system’, although there remains a deficiency in Koestler’s approach, in that ‘comic art’ is a concept which he ‘is reluctant to admit into his framework’ (Parkin, 151).

Jakobson, 99; emphasis in the original) Furthermore, ‘there must be some kind of contiguity between the participants of any speech event to assure the transmission of the message’, and ‘there must be a certain equivalence between the symbols used by the addresser and those known and interpreted by the addressee’ (100). Without such equivalence, or, once again, if the process is infringed by whatever cause (physical or mental), the message is fruitless or distorted. One (potentially medical) cause is the condition of aphasia.

Pointlessness and arbitrariness are singled out as building blocks of both nonsense and the absurd. The basic difference may be that pointlessness as the point of nonsense is essentially non-serious; pointlessness as the point of the absurd, however, is (potentially, at least) altogether more serious. Lecercle’s comment on nonsense, noted above, that it ‘deals not in symbolism but in paradox’ is important here, in that a ‘symbolic’, rather than a straight or ‘naive’, reading of comedy may tip it from nonsensehumour into serious intent, or into the absurd (or indeed both).

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Absurd in Literature by Neil Cornwell

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