Every age has its definitive moments of literature. In the twentieth century, the staging of The Waiting for Godot was one such milestone. The mass of literature that sprung subsequently saw an exciting amalgamation of philosophy, psychology, dramatics and poetry that remained unrivalled since the days of Shakespeare. The artist here came down from the fashionable pedestal of high priests of didacticism to the platform of flesh and blood. The sweep leapt across the Atlantic and endeared itself to the young American playwrights such as Albee. The new continent had never experienced the holocaust of the European wars, yet a few discovered an amazing reflection of its gods and life in these plays.
Despite Albees obvious limitations, his candid ruthlessness will secure him a permanently revered place in the history of American literature. Beckett will go down in the history of European, nay, world literature as one of its leading protagonists, and The Waiting for Godot will forever remain a classic. That Harold Pinter, 50 years after the emergence of the Theatre of the Absurd, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005 speaks enduringly of this breakaway movement in the Western literature.
The book probes into the social and literary climate of the first half of the twentieth century, when in the field of dramarediscovered as a principal genreexperimentation was rife and it squeezed the entire gamut of literary devices available from the days of Aristotle, and indeed surpassed them. It brings out strands of various prevalent dramatic schools and how their chief patrons deliberately distorted language, plots and characters. It seeks to analyse the contents of the plays of both Beckett and Albee in this context while going on further to scrutinize their technique of poetic imagery used as a thematic backdrop.
Teachers, students and researchers of English literature will find the book extremely valuable in critical appreciation and enjoyment of Absurd Plays in general and particularly those of Beckett and Albee.