Give Us This Day Our Daily Absurd, As We Also Have Given It to Our Absurd-mongers! One Look at the Absurd in Romanian Culture


An unpublished piece of prose in the style of Romanian writer Urmuz has rekindled my interest in absurdist writings and/or absurd cases which, in Romanian culture, are associated with the likes of Urmuz, Caragiale or Ionesco. I will ponder here, with the aid of the aforementioned authors and also by comparing their work with Lewis Carroll’s, the absurdist spirit of certain Romanian literary and dramatic pieces, or only of certain scenes therein, to propose a typology of the absurd as distinct from satire (the latter often a companion piece to the former). Mine is an investigation that crisscrosses texts, cultures and ages more than it offers an in-depth analysis by recourse to concepts and theories; asks questions more than it offers answers; plays more than it does sober research; and laughs – lest it should weep.

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