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The Absurd in Literature$
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Neil Cornwell

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074097

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074097.001.0001

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Beyond the absurd?

Beyond the absurd?

(p.280) 10 Beyond the absurd?
The Absurd in Literature

Neil Cornwell

Manchester University Press

This chapter surveys the absurd present in prose writing of the latter half of the twentieth century, considering the more recent developments in drama and briefly referencing several theoretical, popular and general areas. It starts with a section on Boris Vian, one of the contributors to absurdist theatre and the writer of I Spit on Your Graves, and then identifies a number of American and English-language absurdist novels, including John Fowles's Mantissa and Joseph Heller's Catch-22. The discussion also explores European absurdist prose, such as the works of Roland Topor and Cees Nooteboom, and women absurdist writers. The final part of the chapter discusses Sarah Kane, whose plays deal with human relations and usually involve extreme acts of sexuality and violence, and looks at absurdism in popular culture, thoughts and science.

Keywords:   prose writing, twentieth century, Boris Vian, absurdist theatre, absurdist novels, European absurdist prose, women absurdist writers, Sarah Kane, popular culture, ubiquitous absurd

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