Absurd Drama Eugene Ionesco, Arthur Adamov, Fernando Arrabal, Edward Albee, Martin Esslin

When Plays like Ionesco’s Bald Primadonna and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot began to be produced in the early 50’s, critics and audiences were caught with their underthings in knots facing a phenomenon which appeared to flout every accepted standard of drama. Since then the “theater of the absurd’ has become a major dramatic form expressing something of the sense of spiritual desolation which followed the shock of the Second World War shaking religious, spiritual and moral foundations.

In this volume Ionesco’s first full-length play, Amedee and three short plays: Adamov’s Professor Taranee, Arrabal’s The Two executioners and my favorite Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story.

There is an elaborate introduction by Martin Esslin suggesting the antecedents and showing how the development of the plays as poetic images gives them an inner realism and rich theatrical quality.

Absurd Drama Books

Absurd Drama Books

Absurd Drama Books

Advertisements

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

Once in a while a book comes along of such originality that it stops you in your tracks, slaps you in you face and makes you think again about so many things that it makes you want to share it with everyone you meet. David Eagleman’s Sum is just such a book.

Ostensibly a book about what happens after we die, ironically Sum is really an examination of what it means to live. After all the divide is perhaps not as great as we think and as John Keats once wrote, “Life is but a Waking Dream.” Anyone seen Waking life?

With 40 imaginings of the afterlife, Eagleman takes you on a long and erratic emotional journey. Some of the Sums are absurd, sum surreal, sum poetic, sum funny, sum wild, sum neurologically cutting edge while others are dreamily abstract. It’s an astonishing feat of the mind and to top it all, they are all written is this clear prose that is a joy and completely effortless to read.

Are you a dreamer?

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman