Important Influences on Sartre's Plays

There was a brief period of economic prosperity and progress in France, called the belle ?poque (beautiful epoch) before World War I in the early years of the 20th century and right before the wave of pessimism began in the 1920s (Cosper 2004). At this time, inventions like the telephone, the automobile, the airplane and the cinema refreshed modern life. Literature turned away from old styles, such as naturalism, and into the newer and more exciting forms, like cubism and bold experiments by Apollinaire. Other playwrights followed the lead of Apollinaire and introduced stage innovations, among them, Alfred Jarry with his extravagant farce in Ubu Roi in 1896 and Ubu King in 1951 and Paul ...

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a meaningless word in itself and precisely expressed the assault upon reason. The Dadaist slogan was "nothing more, nothing, nothing, NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING" and this embodied their nihilism, i.e., the lack of belief in anything (Cosper). This lack or loss of a sense of meaning in life or existence came about because of the equally senseless ravages and sufferings of war.
Dadaism was replaced by Surrealism, which began in the mid-1920s. It was led by Andre Breton and had poets like Paul Aluard and Louis Aragon. Surrealists suggested that there was a reality beyond what this world and they attempted to describe that sur-reality, no matter how irrationally, through automatic writing, whereby they simply wrote down what they thought, perceived or sensed. Surrealism markedly influenced psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud into using dreams and free thought in gaining access to the subconscious mind. There were cause-oriented authors too in those times, including Maurice Barrs on political ...

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idea of personal responsibility for one's acts (Coster). This acute and difficult position the people found themselves imprisoned in during and after the last devastating War - wherein they were "responsible for their actions in a world beyond their comprehension" - became the core of the evolving philosophical and literary movement called existentialism. The foremost existentialist works during that period were Camus' novel, "The Stranger" in 1946, Sartre's play, "The Flies," and de Beauvoir's "She Came to Stay" in 1943.
The most important postwar development in the theater was the introduction of the theater of the absurd in the 1950s. Absurd plays are about the inadequacy of language ...

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Added: 7/15/2016 04:38:04 AM
Category: Film & Theater
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2931
Pages: 11

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