The Theatre of the Absurd
In 1953, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot premiered at a tiny avant-garde theatre in Paris; within five years, it had been translated into more than twenty languages and seen by more than a million spectators. Its startling popularity marked the emergence of a new type of theatre whose proponents—Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Pinter, and others—shattered dramatic conventions and paid scant attention to psychological realism, while highlighting their characters’ inability to understand one another. In 1961, Martin Esslin gave a name to the phenomenon in his groundbreaking study of these playwrights who dramatized the absurdity at the core of the human condition.
Over four decades after its initial publication, Esslin’s landmark book has lost none of its freshness. The questions these dramatists raise about the struggle for meaning in a purposeless world are still as incisive and necessary today as they were when Beckett’s tramps first waited beneath a dying tree on a lonely country road for a mysterious benefactor who would never show. Authoritative, engaging, and eminently readable, The Theatre of the Absurd is nothing short of a classic: vital reading for anyone with an interest in the theatre.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Max Frisch 292 Wolfgang Hildesheimer 295
Norman Frederick Simpson 302 Edward Albee 3n
Slawomir Mrozele 318 Tadeusz Rozewicz 321
Vaclav Have 3
Other editions - View all
Absurd action actors Adamov appears Arthur Adamov artistic audience basic become Bérenger Boris Vian Brecht Cahiers Calder characters Clov comedy comic confronted contains convention critics dead death dialogue Donald Watson drama dramatists dream edition elements Endgame Estragon Eugene Ionesco Evergreen Review experience expression Faber fact fantasy feeling ﬁ'om ﬁgures ﬁlm ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst performance French Gallimard Genet grotesque Grove Press Hamm Harold Pinter hero human condition ibid illusions inﬂuence Ionesco Jacques Joyce Kenneth Tynan killed Krapp’s Last Tape language lives London maid means merely mother mysterious Nicolas Bataille nonsense novel Paris Parodie Pinter play playwright poem poet poetic image poetry political Pozzo realistic reality reﬂection ritual Samuel Beckett Sartre scene sense signiﬁcance situation social stage story Surrealist Taranne theatre theme tradition trans Tueur Sans Gages turn Tynan victim Vladimir Waiting for Godot wants wife words writing York