Absurd, Theatre of the

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Absurd, Theatre of the Dramatic and literary critical term developed from the philosophy of Albert Camus to describe discordant human experience in an inhuman world. It was first applied (c.1961) to drama that depicted the irrationality of life in an unconventional dramatic style. Exponents include Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Edward Albee. The connection between language and meaning is fractured (often by the use of repetition) and dramatic characters appear dislocated from their surroundings. Beckett's play Waiting for Godot (1952) is a classic of the genre.