Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Theatre of the Absurd

Wikipedia on dialogue in theatre of the absurd: “repetitive or nonsensical dialogue and dramatic non-sequiturs are often used to create dream-like, or even nightmare-like moods.”

For example:

XX: I think that you people are under a curse.
AA: I like what you said just now.
XX: Do you?
AA: The great problem is to understand thoroughly the nature of the curse.
XX: That’s not very difficult, I think.
AA: I think so too.
XX: A curse is an evil spell and the important, the great problem, is to find the means to break it.
AA: Yes. To find the means.

Beckett? Ionesco? Genet? No, it’s Joseph Conrad in Under Western Eyes, beating the absurdists by nearly half a century.

F.R. Leavis pithily describes the importance of this novel: it is a work “which must be counted among those upon which Conrad’s status as one of the great English masters securely rests.” Leavis on the subject of lunch: “it was undoubtedly a rissotto – created upon the basis of a recipe by Mrs. Beeton – which, deservedly, shall be remembered amongst the truly great – if minor – luncheons of our time, redolent as it was of peppers.”

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