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By Eugene Ionesco

The prime determine of absurdist theater and one of many nice innovators of the trendy degree, Eugène Ionesco (1909-94) didn't write his first play, The Bald Soprano, till 1950. He went directly to turn into an the world over well known grasp of contemporary drama, well-known for the comedian proportions and peculiar results that permit his paintings to be at the same time hilarious, tragic, and profound. As Ionesco has acknowledged, “Theater isn't really literature. . . . it really is easily what can't be expressed by way of the other means."

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This implicit truth claim is frequently averted and systematically defended in realist works, and for this reason deserves our scrutiny. Second, since the origin of the drama, playwrights have regularly critiqued what they perceived to be unrealistic scenes and conventions precisely because of their implausibility. In his Electra, Euripides parodies the unlikely scene of the tokens' recognition in Aeschylus' Choephoroe, and Aristophanes in the Thesmosphoriazusae mocks the dubious Euripidean device of sending a message written on oar blades.

Len: 'Ow often yet done this? Pam: Don't be nosey. : Excuse me. I hate to do this but I'm bringing it back 'cause it's stale. : Ow well I'll make you another one. : OK. Thanks a lot. I kinda feel bad doing this but. : I guess so eh (laughter) Well it's your own fault. : I do. : Is that more to your liking? : Yeah okay well I fell rotten bringing it back. : Well no. : Well if you're not satisfied you should why should why should you eat something you've paid for. : I know. : If you. : I know.  .

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (New York: Penguin, 1985), p. 79. 15. "Author's Foreword to Miss Julie," trans. Elizabeth Sprague, in Playwrights on Playwriting, ed. Toby Cole (New York: Hill and Wang, 1961). For additional discussion, see Brenda Murphy's excellent survey of the varieties of early realist theory and practice in American Realism and American Drama, 18801940 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987), pp. 2449. Subsequent references are cited in the text. 16. The origin of this practice may be in Ibsen's Master Builder.

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