Spring 1967 • Vol. XXIX No. 2 NonfictionMarch 1, 1967 |

The Absurd Quest

The most exciting theater of our mid-century is that of the absurdists, particularly Samuel Beckett, Eug6ne Ionesco, and Jean Genet. They dazzle us, first, with a fine control of craft, with the precisely appropriate setting, stage dynamics, and language. Beckett's near-empty landscapes; his reduction of physical movement to a minimum; his sparse, austere, and wonderful poetry. Ionesco's multifarious and imaginative settings; his wild proliferation of persons and things in their snowballing confusion of ceaseless movement; his profusion of words regressing from nonsense to the no-words of syllables and letters. Genet's elaborate and eye-arresting sets (reaching four distinct levels in one of the scenes of The Screens); his shuttling between appearance and reality as props come and go, as characters shift roles, as play gives way to play-within-play which in tum reverts to play; his poetry which sparkles on occasion with a sensuous, concrete richness. All these qualities make for the

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After Three Days

By Josephine Jacobsen

The most exciting theater of our mid-century is that of the absurdists, particularly Samuel Beckett, Eug6ne Ionesco, and Jean Genet. They dazzle us, first, with a fine control of craft, […]

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