Mr. Parminder Singh
“Books don’t change the world, people change the world, books only change people.”
– Mário Quintana
The world has witnessed a great deal of change due to the holy trinity of secular humanists including Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin during the last century. Despite their engagement with divergent fields, the trio influenced morality in an unprecedented way. Their works have doubtlessly revolutionized the masses from all walks of society. There is nothing hyperbolic in what Caplan and Jennings write about them: “[T]hese men and the theoretical movements they inspired have fundamentally reoriented our modern understanding of biological nature, society, and the human mind” (Caplan xi). The writers of existential and absurd works have not been able to stimulate the human psyche as successfully as these great masters. Nevertheless, these works fuel the sensations of an individual with a queer numbness and transport the being into another world. Despite being apparently meaningless, these works of absurd succeed in fascinating the intellect. The contrast between the absurd literature’s ostensible incoherence and its representation of life’s meaninglessness at a deeper level is probably its most captivating aspect. These pieces of existential, absurd literature have raised applause in the auditoriums in the ‘first world’ and in the ‘third world’ alike. Martin Esslin, in his seminal essay “The Theatre of the Absurd”, opines that the audiences applauded the absurd plays “fully aware that they could not understand what they meant” (Esslin 3). He goes on to declare in his essay that the absurd portrays the picture of our own world which is “a world without faith, meaning, and genuine freedom of will” (Esslin 6).