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Absurd in Literature - download pdf or read online

By Neil Cornwell

ISBN-10: 071907410X

ISBN-13: 9780719074103

Neil Cornwell's examine, whereas endeavouring to offer an old survey of absurdist literature and its forbears, doesn't aspire to being an exhaustive background of absurdism. quite, it pauses on definite old moments, creative activities, literary figures and chosen works, sooner than 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, eu (including Russian and vital ecu) and English literatures (British Isles and American) - in addition to these extra thinking about theatre stories, the avant-garde and the historical past of principles (including humour theory). it may even have a vast attract the enthusiastic common reader.

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

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42 Again, the potential application here for the absurd is plain to see. A somewhat kindred approach comes through the concept of ‘language games’, associated primarily with the later philosophy (or ‘linguistic naturalism’: Pears, 35) of Wittgenstein and, in some estimations at least, now an overused or abused influence on postmodern hermeneutics. From Wittgenstein’s original, one may say relatively tentative and banal, illustrations in the Philosophical Investigations, ‘the idea of a language game came to be seen as a paradigm of the complex patterns of social behaviour .

The first tends to the anthropological, ‘the built-in incongruence of being human’, the ‘ongoing balancing act between being a body and having a body’, or the traditional philosophical mind/body split; the second he sees as ontological, Pascal’s location of humanity ‘between the nothing and the infinite’ (209). This brings us back again to the absurdist perception of the universe, the answer to which has to be that much-advocated blind leap of religious faith, ‘unless we are prepared to resign ourselves with stoic fortitude to the ultimate hopelessness of the world’ (214) – or, indeed, we are content to take refuge in Unamuno’s supreme consolation of incertitude.

In addition, we are reminded, The theoretical absurd 25 ‘cognition and memory superimpose differences even on common experiences’, and, owing to various possible causes, ‘a mismatch between the context envisaged by the speaker and the one actually used by the hearer may result in a misunderstanding’ (Sperber and Wilson, 16). We are now close again to questions of (perceived) congruity and incongruity, already seen to be a frequent staple of humour, nonsense and the absurd. Another, perhaps more straightforward but not over dissimilar, model of verbal communication had been supplied by Roman Jakobson in his essay ‘Linguistics and Poetics’ (first published 1960).

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Absurd in Literature by Neil Cornwell


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