Chapter

The theoretical absurd: an introduction

Neil Cornwell

in The Absurd in Literature

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780719074097
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700969 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719074097.003.0001
The theoretical absurd: an introduction

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This chapter introduces the concept of the absurd, which is frequently used in literature and is defined as something applied to the modern sense of human purposelessness in a universe with no meaning or value. It studies the connections the absurd has to nihilism, existentialism and ontology, and then takes a look at ‘negative theology’, which is relevant to practitioners of the absurd. From there, the discussion considers the problems related to the perception of inherent absurdity and the deconstruction of a philosophical system into nonsense, contradiction and absurdity. The chapter also considers the concept of the socio-linguistic absurd, as well as the nature of jokes and humour.

Keywords: absurd; nihilism; existentialism; ontology; negative theology; inherent absurdity; philosophical system; nonsense; socio-linguistic absurd; jokes

Chapter.  14217 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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