The Necessary Backdrop of Drama

Today, a bone from Hans Urs von Balthasar worth a long gnaw:

“If meaninglessness, considered as a mode of action, has the last word, it annihilates itself and ends in Beckett’s garbage cans. The alleged absolute freedom which can play the part of both God and the devil (Sartre) dissolves itself in pure ennui. The attitude of revolt (Camus) is absurd if it is absolutized, since, in order to survive, it must always presuppose whatever it is negating and thus entangles itself in the fatal contradictions of an Ivan Karamozov. Be the content of “given” absolute meaning never so hidden and ineffable – like the baffling figure of the one who judges between man and God in the ancient Book of Job – it must be presupposed, to form the framework within which drama can take place. And this “given” meaning is just as possible today as it was when the framework was fashioned in the categories of Athens or Rome.”

From Theo-Drama, Vol. I: Prolegomena

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