Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Feydeau and Absurdity

I was looking at a book on Feydeau, a master of French farces, who created very complicated but logically cohesive plots.

There was an attempt, on the part of the Theater of the Absurd theorists, to look to Feydeau as a forerunner. But I have trouble seeing it.

Mostly he begins with the principle enunciated by Walter Scott:
What a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.
He then throws in the principle that simple failures lead to complex messes:
Your striving can be your own undoing,
when you start by misconstruing.
I suppose the similarity is that Feydeau's characters often feel like they're in a world gone mad, even though the audience knows exactly why and wherefore.

In his defense
his crazy fun
somehow makes sense
when it's all done.

No comments: