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3Beckett and Pinter - TheatreoftheAbsurd ....

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Theatre of the Absurd Name given by Martin Esslin. What’s in common with these playwrights: -life is absurd & meaningless (human existence). To reflect this they create meaningless speeches  & silences. Absurdists – applied to writers in prose fiction, human conditions are absurd. -roots in surrealism (James Joyce, Kafka) -emerged after WWII; rebellion against traditional values & cult. Central to realism – life is meaningful; man – a rational creature, living in intelligible universe, part  of a social str-re, man is capable of heroism. Impact of the existential philosophy on the Lit. of the Absurd – Jean-Paul Sartre & Albert Camus; -  irrational, isolated being (man), hostile universe, human life – from meaningless to nothingness, painful  existence; ~Catch 22 (Joseph Heller) SAMUEL BECKETT (1906-1989)  Nobel prize in 1969. Irishman, lived in Paris & wrote in french & recreated in English. - irrationalism of man, absurdity of life. ‘Waiting for Godot’ – 2 ??? in wilderness & waiting for  s.o. who may or may not come. Double absurdity – grotesquely comic & irrational. A parody of trad. drama,  of the well-made man. Dialogue is pointless, funny, loose. Positive msg – hope dies last, it can nourish every  succeeding day. Words are used w/ economy & great precision. But can express complexity of feelings –  setting, time. Waiting for sth to happen. Char.s are unique. Beckett’s plays – reductive (reduced to the bare  essentials), but the effect is very powerful Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969 for his "writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama —in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation". How It Is is a novel by Samuel Beckett published in 1964. It consists of a monologue by the narrator as he crawls through apparently endless mud, and reminisces on his life. The mud appears to be a kind of purgatory .
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