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In her novel The Emissary, Tawada is using the absurd. This is an interesting notion especially in literature as it has been used multiple times and in different cultures. If we go back to the beginning of the twentieth century when the notion of absurd in literature was theorized in Europe, we see that it was a way to be in contradiction with what has been done before but also that it was a form of protest. Indeed, at that time and especially after the first World War, some authors used this gender to show the dehumanization, the fact that the language didn’t convey anything anymore, the destruction of some inherently human characteristics. It was also seen as a humoristic type of literature but the absurdity allows some sadness to emerge and let the reader with a bittersweet taste at the end of the reading.

If we compare the play Fando & Lys by Fernando Arrabal and The Emissary by Yoko Tawada, we can see how the use of the absurd but also the creation of a dystopian world create two different readings. One is lighter, funny and doesn’t mark the reader that much. It gives a pleasant reading, sometimes a bit disturbing but overall just a good novel or play. The second one is tragic in a literal way. Because it gives the reader to see the absurdity of the world and of humanity. It also asks serious questions about how we are living and why we are living like this. It questions our way of life and how society shapes us. And the reading is not anymore just a good moment but becomes a deep reflection that gives us this bittersweet taste and that marks the reader.

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