Non sequitur (literary device)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A non sequitur is a conversational and literary device, often used for comical purposes (as opposed to its use in formal logic). It is a comment which, due to its lack of meaning relative to the comment it follows, is absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing. Its use can be deliberate or unintentional. Literally, it is Latin for "it does not follow." In other literature, a non sequitur can denote an abrupt, illogical, unexpected or absurd turn of plot or dialogue not normally associated with or appropriate to that preceding it.

Non sequiturs often appear to be disconnected or random comments, or random changes in subject, especially socially inappropriate ones. When non sequiturs are used frequently this can be called "absurd humor".

The non sequitur can be understood as the converse of cliché. To illustrate: in theatre, traditional comedy and drama depend on the ritualization—that is, the predictability—of human emotional experiences. In contrast, the theatre of the absurd depends upon the disjunction—that is, the unpredictability—of that experience.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Non sequitur (literary device)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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