Winter 1963 • Vol. XXV No. 1 Department KR: A Section of Briefer Comment |

The Pains of Being Demystified

It is no doubt time to prick the balloon. Or at least to deflate it a little bit. But there are two balloons, the balloon balloon and the anti-balloon, the mystifier and the demystifier. The balloon balloon, which is the commercial theatre (or even more the conventional theatre), is the real villain of the piece. The anti-balloon, the Theatre of the Absurd, is the hero. And though the latter's heroics are still needed to protect one from the former's villainies, something must be done to protect one from those same heroics. Now the Theatre of the Absurd has pretensions, the most objectionable of which is that it is directly expressing the philosophical problem of man "in our time," that it is revealing to the theatre audience what many people have already discovered outside the theatre. In other words, it pretends to be didactic, to be a teacher of the "human condition." Yet the fact is that its strongest pieces, its most effective dramas, have been dramas of illusion. Not conve

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