Absurdism Criticism

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Some critics trace the roots of Absurdism back to the beginning of the twentieth century, but for most, the movement itself began at mid-century. Ruby Cohn, for instance, makes a claim for 1950—the year Ionesco's The Bald Soprano first appeared on the French stage—as the starting point of Theatre of the Absurd. Martin Esslin, who in 1961 identified and labeled the movement, begins with Waiting for Godot and many critics follow his lead. Written in 1950 but not staged until 1953, Beckett's most famous drama is also considered by many scholars to be the most representative of the movement. Esslin originally identified three other practitioners of Absurdism: Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Arthur Adamov, as well as a number of lesser-known playwrights. In later editions of his landmark study, The Theatre of the Absurd, Esslin elevated Harold Pinter from minor to major figure and devoted an entire chapter...

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This section contains 654 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Absurdism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.