“The absurdist genre grew out of the modernist literature of the late 19th and early 20th century in direct opposition to the Victorian literature which was prominent just prior to this period. It was largely influenced by the existentialist and nihilist movements in philosophy and the Dada and surrealist movements in art.”
So, absurdity is not just silly or funny works. Absurdity is a rebellious if not anarchist “artistic” attitude. Writers who lived under oppressive regimes could cloak “the truth” in absurdity. Or they could just mock poetry and literature in general by writing in a way that offended mainstream writers and elitists. Some people are still very offended by absurdity.
Think of the Marx Brothers or the 3 Stooges. They go into a fancy house and cause chaos. They are sometimes respectful, sometimes disrespectful; sometimes stupid, sometimes, well a little less stupid; sometimes loyal, sometimes mean or even cruel.
Somehow, we find the combination of stupid, cruel and disrespectful to be funny; well some of us do. If you don’t like watching absurdity, you’ll almost certainly hate reading it.
I’ve gotten comments: “What the hell is this shit?! It doesn’t make any sense!”
I won’t bore you with any more academics of absurdist literature. *Suffice it to say that Absurdist writing is a sub-genre of “experimental writing”.
There are various levels of what I call “common comprehension” in absurdist works. Simply put, if you don’t know the story behind a meme, for example, the meme won’t make any sense. Likewise for tropes, parables, metaphors, and synecdoche’s to make sense you have to be able to understand the language they’re written in and maybe even the culture the writing comes from.
Alice In Wonderland is a work of “non-sense” (absurdity if you prefer) that has reached a meme-like status. The only reason you would associate “going down the rabbit hole” with tea parties or hallucinatory drugs is because you know about what happened to Alice. Those of us who know of A.I.W. have a common comprehension of a very strange story.
Our comprehension allows us to tell each other about that story: “There was a girl named Alice, she fell down a rabbit hole…” etc.
If the other person says, “Hey, that must have been a very big hole!”
We can say, “No, it was a magic hole”, or we can explain that it is a “fantasy”.
We can use “other” common concepts to explain the strange, problematic concept.
Dr. Who fans are not upset nor confused to know that the inside of the Tardis is bigger than the outside; in this case, their common comprehension actually helps to define the Tardis.
So it’s important to understand that while non-sense works can sometimes be “deciphered” and analyzed and dissected for their hidden allegorical meanings, they are usually just meant to be enjoyed for the experience of reading them. The plot of a Douglas Adams’ novel doesn’t matter to me, I just enjoy reading them!
A non-sequitur “story” has familiar words, and sentences, but that’s about it. It’s like a dream, it makes sense while you’re dreaming it, but afterwards, you can’t really explain it because the separately defined parts and events just don’t add up to the same experience. Even if it had a plot, it couldn’t be explained as a story (unless there was a common comprehension ascribed to it).
Non-Sequitur stories (I call them poems because they’re usually fairly short) have a much smaller audience than non-sense fiction. It’s an acquired taste. And it’s not as easy to write as you might think. **I’ve seen people try to use auto-generated text, and various mental games and strategies (drugs and dart boards, Mad Libs® etc) but it’s never as good as inspired non-sense (IMHO).
Work on my new site will be sorted into types of works and we well also have a rating system. The new site should be awesome! For a status update, just type “status” in my blog’s search engine. The blog search works surprisingly well.
These are terms I’ve coined to help new readers understand nothing and everything.
What is Amphi-Sequitur?
Think of Bobobo bobo bobo or The Mighty Boosh; absurd and sometimes non-sequitur, but with an easily discernible plot.
What is Ortho-Sequitur?
Just a regular story or poem.
What is Non-sequitur?
Un Chien Andalou (a video) and “That Smoky Pilgrim Flavor”
Is “non-sense” the same as absurdity and non-sequitur fiction?
Is “non-sense” the same as gibberish (sometimes spelled jibberish)?
Yes and no. If it were up to me, non-sense would be non-sequitur, and absurdity would be “strange” stories, and jibberish would be words that have no meaning. However, I think many people (those who care) consider jibberish to be non-sense.
I have “nonce words” and neologisms in my work, but I don’t really use the term jibberish because it has such a negative connotation in speech.
In writing, gibberish has much more “value” and respect. In speech, gibberish usually has no meaning, not even for the person speaking it, and should therefore be ignored or held in contempt. In writing, gibberish is something that may, or may not be “decodable,” or learned, or translated.
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
It is Fookleyur, in the forest, masturbating.