theatre of the absurd

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Theatre of the Absurd. Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. Eugene Ionesco (1909-1994). b . Romania, near Bucharest, raised Paris Father a lawyer, back to Romania during WWI 1922 return Romania to his father, now remarried - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Theatre of the AbsurdEugene IonescosRhinocerosEugene Ionesco (1909-1994)b. Romania, near Bucharest, raised ParisFather a lawyer, back to Romania during WWI1922 return Romania to his father, now remarried1928 debut as poet; degree in French 1933; continued poetry, reviews, literary criticism1936 married; 1938 back to Paris1945 worked in publishing house in Paris1948 begins writing plays (Bald Soprano)Pataphysics science of imaginary solutions w/ other artists; he acts and writes with themBecame a French citizen (50) and member French Academy (70)Leading figure of literary avant-gardeActivist for human rights, esp in RomaniaIt seemed to me that {people} allow themselves to live, as it were, unconsciously. Perhaps it's because everyone, all the others, are convinced in some unformulated, irrational way that one day everything will be made clear. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for humanity. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for me. (Hermit, 1973)Im pot -bellied, dumpy, small, Ive short legs. Im a peasant from the Danube, as Ive said. (Critical Inquiry, 1975) I dont know if you have noticed it, but when people no longer share your opinions, when you can no longer make yourself understood by them, one has the impression of being confronted with monsters, rhinos, for instance. They have that mixture of candour and ferocity. They would kill you with the best of consciences. (Le monde 1960)Ionesco

Pot-bellied, dumpy, small .

Rhinoceros, 1959Ionescos response to fascism; the terror of brute force becomes beautyThe struggle of one man to keep integrity (see Millers essay on common man tragedy)BBC radio 1st production (on heels of debate over realism w/ Kenneth Tynan)Staged 1960 at Odon in Paris by Barrault and Orson Welles directed at Royal Court, London1962 Martin Esslins Theatre of the Absurd names Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Adamov, Pinter absurdists defines new anti-realism trend

Theatre of the AbsurdTerm from Camus Myth of Sisyphus, 1942; out of harmony, but one must imagine Sisyphus happy.If the world were clear, art would not exist.Esslin says the authors all face the senselessness of human existence and the inadequacy of rational explanations (philosophy, religion, literature).Absurd in this case means devoid of purposeAmong the absurdists, Ionesco deals more with social situations than individual, ethical choices that have ramifications

SisyphusDramaturgy of AbsurdPlot: logical development would be antithetical; exposition is lacking; rarely a climax. Circular structure is common.Characters: often devoid of history except as defined in stage actions. Often trapped in meaningless situations. Often cant communicate effectively. Find meaning in absurd actions, relationships, social gestures.Theme: dramatic symbols often dominate all other elements. Background image, anyone?Language: devolves into clich or routine; rhythm and sound may overtake denotative meaningSpectacle: stage use, objects, relationship to audience commonly symbolic and address audience as suchLocationsQuaint French village; Act 1 very idealizedI:I Village with restaurant, grocery, street. Sunday, noon, summerI:ii Law publishing office. Next morningII Jeans room, Monday afternoonIII Berengers room, a few days later

Big challenge is the visual of rhinos; especially Jeans onstage transformation in Act II. Your next group project is to design this.CharactersBerenger: the absurd hero. Never bought the values of his community. Drinks too much; gets to work late. Jean: his foil; he fits into his small town world, the values of work, dress, socializingDaisy: ingenueMr. Papillon: bossBotard: in office, a hard worker, populistDudard: young man at work w/ bright futureLogician: is totally misleading in this case; who cares how many horns when people are transforming?Mr. and Mrs. BoeufTownspeople: Grocer, Housewife, Old Gentleman

FascismIs never directly mentioned. It is my duty to stick by them. I have to do my duty. and If you are going to criticize them, its better to do so from the inside. Dudard, p. 114I feel responsible for everything that happens. I feel involved I cant just be indifferent. Brenger p. 98(shouting out front) Ill never join up with you! Berenger p. 106Botard says we must move with the times p.109everyone has a relative or close friend among them p. 111 Daisy, so they cant be containedLogic is used to support fascism; Berenger never good at logic knows intuitively its wrongRhinosHow explicit would you be in production?

Influence TodayNext generation of writers after Ionesco include Tom Stoppard (R&G are Dead), Edward Albee (Virginia Woolf), Arthur Kopit (Wings), Caryl Churchill (Top Girls), Vaclav Havel, Mamet and Shepard to a lesser extent.Young writers today: Suzan Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog or The America Play), Tracy Letts (Bugs), Geneseo students

And even though it doesnt matter: both species of African Rhinos have 2 horns. 1 of the 3 species of Asian rhinos has 2 horns.


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