Absurd is Finished, Now to Math

I’ve just finished editing a book that re-examines the Theatre of the Absurd (wonderful discussions of Rhinoceros, The Birthday Party, and Waiting for Godot, among others). What struck me most while editing was the fact that we, as students of the world, must continue to read and study if we want to stay up to date with current trends in thought. In editing the book, I learned that in 1995 there was a movement that proposed the idea that Camus was not an existentialist, that he was saying more than “life is absurd, accept it.” I also obtained a new understanding of Waiting for Godot, for which I have a new-found appreciation.

Another thought that struck me is how some academicians get stuck in a field and never leave it for their entire professional life. Not the world for me! Boredom and I are incompatible.

Now, having finished a course in the absurd, I begin editing a book about Albert Lautman and his mathematical theories. Not only is the book a discussion of mathematical philosophy, but it’s translated from the French. Guaranteed to be a tough one to edit, since I’ll have to read every line carefully, fixing syntax as well as grammar and punctuation.

Waiting in the wings: education and democracy in Senegal–and Islam, modernity, and the social sciences. All before Christmas arrives. Heigh-ho!

Theatre of the Absurd

Today, I begin editing a new book, on a renewed conception of the Theatre of the Absurd.

Having just finished editing a book about the Hospitaller Knights of Malta, I look forward to this change of pace and focus. It has been years since I read any of Samuel Beckett’s work, or the work of Ionesco or Pinter. Apparently, in that time, a new understanding of Albert Camus’s writing has developed, stating that Camus wasn’t truly an existentialist. Imagine my surprise! But now I have to go back and read a 1995 book about Camus that seems to turn our previous understanding of his work and philosophy on its head. As a consequence, the term “absurd” must now be re-examined. Absurd, or not? It’s too early to tell.

More on this later, after I’ve edited and digested the book.