introduction to absurdism
In philosophy, "the Absurd" refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life, and the human inability to find any in a purposeless, meaningless or chaotic and irrational universe. These two philosophies start from the same place: human beings have a deep need for meaning, but the universe provides no answers. - Martin Esslin, Introduction to "Penguin Plays - Absurd Drama" (Penguin, 1965) "Martin Esslin was born Julius Pereszlenyi on 6 June 1918 into a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. Camus states that he wishes to live with certainty and thus deduces the following: man wants, the world offers, and the absurd links them. Absurdism and existentialism are very closely related, so much so that Albert Camus (the main absurdist philosopher) is usually considered an existentialist, even though he always claimed that he was not one. Yet Esslin was not the first scholar to characterize the poster child of absurdism, Beckett, and his work as “absurd.” Camus is the man behind an offshoot of existentialism called absurdism. Sprouting from Albert Camus' concept of the Philosophy of the Absurd, the Theater of the Absurd is the theatrical manifestation of the idea that man's quest for meaning and truth is a futile endeavor. The absurd is the confrontation of a mind that desires a logical and meaningful reality, and a world which that mind can't comprehend (because it is irrational). When absurdist plays first came to the stage, it was a groundbreaking moment in the history of theatre. introduction to shapeshifting: Simple mental shapeshifting begins as a young woman stretches luxuriously on her bed, propping up on bare elbows. The word "absurd" in this context does not mean "logically impossible," but rather "humanly impossible." The absurd arises from human observation. Although an exciting and progressive movement, critics didn't know what to make of it and many were outraged. In logic, reductio ad absurdum (Latin for '"reduction to absurdity"'), also known as argumentum ad absurdum (Latin for "argument to absurdity"), apagogical arguments, negation introduction or the appeal to extremes, is the form of argument that attempts to establish a claim by showing that the opposite scenario would lead to absurdity or contradiction. Introduction to Absurdism Absurdism is a philosophy that states that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe ultimately fail (and thus is absurd), because no such meaning exists, at least in relation to the individual. Envisioning an image of her chosen animal, the shapeshifter (turnskin, werewolf, lycanthrope) lets her mindset fade smoothly into a thought process not quite human. Using Camus’ philosophy of the absurd, Esslin argues that the plays of the Theatre of the Absurd investigate the “metaphysical anguish” of the human condition and the purported purposelessness of life. The absurd is the result of a conflict between our desire for meaning and the lack of evidence of such meaning existing.Or, as he puts it, “The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world” (The Myth of Sisyphus). The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously. The influence of the absurdist “movement” As I quoted Enoch Brater at the end of the Introduction, his words are worth repeating: the absurd “is all around.” In part, because the influence of the absurd is so great, it is very difficult to truly or accurately measure it. It’s actually quite simple to understand. Even by today’s standards, absurdist plays flout all theatrical conventions; everything we know drama to be is turned on its head.
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