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Now for something completely Absurd…. Dresden before firebombing.

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Presentation on theme: "Now for something completely Absurd…. Dresden before firebombing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Now for something completely Absurd…

2 Dresden before firebombing

3 Dresden after firebombing

4 Life continues after firebombing

5 This photograph shows bomb damage to Shillingford Street, Islington in North London. A V1 rocket that landed late in June 1944 caused the damage. No one was hurt. The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU war/sources/photos/3a/

6 Parents sent their children out to play –. Life in England during WWII

7 From living through a war as a bystander/citizen/POW Have no control over what happens to anything: my home, other homes, the neighborhood, downtown, shops… Have no control over what happens during the day: air raid sirens (take shelter), soldiers march through and take prisoners, arrest people, arrest me/kill me, arrest my family, enforce curfews. Have no control over the information you do/do not receive. Governments kept information from their people to keep fear from spreading and to keep people under control. Have no control over Mob mentality: your neighbors, friends, relatives join—do you? They will need to turn you in if you don’t.

8 From living through a war as a bystander/citizen/POW How does that feel?

9 The Son of Man by René Magritte 1964 oil on canvas This painting of a green apple floating in front of the face of a otherwise conventional man. Magritte said about the painting, “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden…” Thinking back to WWII—people want to know what’s going to happen; people want all of the information— what is the government hiding? What information is the mob ignoring? What are you hiding?

10 A smile?

11 What do you see? What don’t you see?

12 Absurdism The condition or state in which humans exist in a meaningless, irrational universe wherein people's lives have no purpose or meaning. But, at least we exist – right?

13 Absurdism We believe we exist, and we do things to maintain that belief.

14 Absurdism We believe we exist, and we do things to maintain that belief. We have routines—morning routine, homework routine, the routine of school, etc. (repetition)

15 Absurdism We believe we exist, and we do things to maintain that belief. We have routines—morning routine, homework routine, the routine of school, etc. (repetition) We talk to other people. If another person hears us and remembers us, then we must exist.

16 Absurdism We believe we exist, and we do things to maintain that belief. We have routines—morning routine, homework routine, the routine of school, etc. (repetition) We talk to other people. If another person hears us and remembers us, then we must exist. We have our “identifiers”—things we do that define us as uniquely who we are.

17 Absurdism We believe we exist, and we do things to maintain that belief. We have routines—morning routine, homework routine, the routine of school, etc. (repetition) We talk to other people. If another person hears us and remembers us, then we must exist. We have our “identifiers”—things we do that define us as uniquely who we are. We do things and go places—travel, experiences, entertainment. If we remember something, we must exist.

18 Absurdism We believe we exist, and we do things to maintain that belief. We have routines—morning routine, homework routine, the routine of school, etc. (repetition) We talk to other people. If another person hears us and remembers us, then we must exist. We have our “identifiers”—things we do that define us as uniquely who we are. We do things and go places—travel, experiences, entertainment. If we remember something, we must exist. “We’ll always try something to give us the impression we exist.” – Waiting for Godot: GoGo

19 Absurdism However… What’s the point? Life is meaningless after all.

20 Absurdism However… What’s the point? Life is meaningless after all. “We’re born astride a grave.” Pozzo from Waiting for Godot – we are born and then we will die.

21 Absurdism However… What’s the point? Life is meaningless after all. “We’re born astride a grave.” Pozzo from Waiting for Godot – we are born and then we will die. “"And even if the wars didn't keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.“ Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 1

22 Absurdism Absurdist authors and artists play with that idea. They stress the illogical or irrational aspects of experience, usually to show the pointlessness of/in modern life

23 Absurdism In practice, the Theatre of the Absurd departs from realistic characters, situations and all of the associated theatrical conventions. Ionesco’s Rhinoceros – mob mentality

24 Absurdism In practice, the Theatre of the Absurd departs from realistic characters, situations and all of the associated theatrical conventions. What about Slaughterhouse Five: In what ways does Vonnegut depart from realistic characters? In what ways does Vonnegut depart from realistic situations? In what ways does Vonnegut depart from the conventions of a novel?

25 Absurdism Time, place and identity are ambiguous and fluid (anyone is anyone—does it matter?), and even basic causality frequently breaks down. Ionesco’s Bald Soprano – who’s what’s whose

26 Absurdism Time, place and identity are ambiguous and fluid (anyone is anyone—does it matter?), and even basic causality frequently breaks down. How are time, place and identity ambiguous and fluid in Slaughterhouse Five? How does this affect events or thoughts? Does everything “effect” have a cause in Slaughterhouse Five?

27 Absurdism Repetitive or nonsensical action or dialogue– it is this repetition that gives us meaning and gives the characters their meaning. Krapp’s Last Tape – Beckett – yesterday? tomorrow? really?

28 Absurdism Repetitive or nonsensical action or dialogue– it is this repetition that gives us meaning and gives the characters their meaning. What are the repeated actions, dialogues, thoughts, etc. in Slaughterhouse Five? What meanings do these give to the characters? To us? What are the nonsensical actions, dialogues, thoughts, etc. in Slaughterhouse Five? What meanings do these give?

29 Absurdism All of the repetitive or nonsensical action or dialogue, ambiguity, fluidity, non-causality creates a dream/nightmare atmosphere. Six Characters in Search of an Author – Pirandello – are we here?

30 Absurdism All of the repetitive or nonsensical action or dialogue, ambiguity, fluidity, non-causality creates a dream/nightmare atmosphere. What’s the dream or nightmare atmosphere of Slaughterhouse Five? Why is this a necessary component of Slaughterhouse Five?

31 Absurdism Non-sequitur - A thought that does not logically follow what has just been said Non sequitur is Latin for “It does not follow.” Non-sequiturs aid in maintaining the disjointedness of the moment while still relating to the moment

32 Absurdism We can never convey what we mean, we can only construe what is meant.

33 Eugene Ionesco ionescu.cfm Samuel Beckett beckett.cfm "To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.“ Waiting for Godot – “We’ll always try something to give us the impression we exist.” – GoGo Waiting without beginning or end—human commonality -said of his own work that it represents “a mood and not an ideology, an impulse not a programme.” He disregards psychology and coherent dialogue, depicting a dehumanized world with mechanical, puppet-like characters who speak in non-sequiturs. Language becomes lofty, with words and material objects gaining a life of their own, increasingly overwhelming the characters and creating a sense of menace.

34 Edward Albee releases/m2049.html Albee describes his work as "an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, and emasculation and vacuity, a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy-keen."

35 Edward Albee releases/m2049.html Albee describes his work as "an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, and emasculation and vacuity, a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy-keen." In an interview, he told about his love of reading at age 13, but received a different reaction from his parents: His father: “There is a book missing from the library.” I said, “Yes, it’s by Ivan Turgenev. And it’s a wonderful book. I took it upstairs.” His father: “It belongs in the library. You have left a gap on the shelves.”

36 Edward Albee releases/m2049.html Albee describes his work as "an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, and emasculation and vacuity, a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy-keen." Another interview about his writing: Can you say what inspired it? The Zoo Story? No. No idea. In retrospect? Sure. I was obviously analyzing two opposite people: one had compromised too much on the way to adulthood, and the other was compromising nowhere at all. And there was bound to be a clash. But that's merely plot. I don't know, really. I never know. You make it sound so simple. Well it is. I'm not one of these didactic playwrights who says, "I must now write a play about..." this or that subject, and find some characters. It comes into focus very slowly for me. When it's sufficiently into focus, I can hear the characters, know them, and put them in their action.


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