by James N. Dove-Edwin
This is a collection of short poems on the absurdity of the human condition, written in French and titled Scènes de l’Existence. The poems reflect the works of some renowned French authors and playwrights of the mid-twentieth century, like Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Eugène Ionesco, and Samuel Beckett. The poems attempt to portray the recurrent philosophical theme of these writers, of man relentlessly and unsuccessfully vying to escape the limitations of his existence by trying to make sense out of existential “non-sense” through reason and rationality.
The poems depict aspects of the unbearable heaviness of being and nothingness of human existence as portrayed in some of the writings of these authors. They discuss the inability of man, despite his knowledge and skill, to control his destiny and how he is just a pawn in the hands of Father Time and Mother Nature.
The poems exploit the themes of man entrapped in the bondage of the Sisyphus Complex, as portrayed in the play Le mythe de Sisyphe, by Albert Camus, and man painfully in the process of waiting, like characters in Beckett’s En Attendant Godot, for someone or something that never comes.
In a nutshell, the poems deal with the inherent existential situation of the human being.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James N. Dove-Edwin is a professor of French at the Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He studied at the University of Strasbourg in France, where he did his master’s in the twentieth-century French literature. Mr. Dove-Edwin’s field is the theater of the absurd. He specialized in works by Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Genet. He also studied the philosophy of existentialism depicted in works of Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.
James N. Dove-Edwin’s hobbies are reading, chess playing, and writing. He also enjoys jogging and walking.
(2008, paperback, 48 pages)
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