[Albert Camus] The Myth of Sisyphus

  • Title: The Myth of Sisyphus
  • Author: Albert Camus
  • Published: 1955
  • Publisher: Vintage International (1991)
  • ISBN-10: 0679733736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-679-73373-7

In this essay, Camus asserted that the fundamental question of philosophy is suicide; whether life is worth living or not.

The starting point is the feelings of absurd. The absurdity of life has two faces: Your life is absurd and there is no meaning in life. But this lack of essence (fate) ensures the freedom of choice and action. We are not destined to anything.

Reason plays an important role here. Reflection of life lets you discover the absurdity of life continuously. We are kind of doomed. But this reason lets you revolt against the absurdity. Therefore, consciousness is both bless and a curse.

Camus insisted that suicide is not an answer to the meaningless life. It is an escape from the reality. He asked us to confront the absurd (revolt) courageously. There is another type of suicide; Hope or Political Suicide. Hope means religious salvation; bad faith; to negate life’s absurdity with nostalgia, romanticism, and association with the divine. Hope of another life is the trickery of those who live not for life itself but for some ideas.

We can find some examples of absurd lifestyles. Absurd men acknowledge the absurdity of life and act accordingly. “Quantity of experience” comes before “Quality of it”. Don Huan did not seek the true lover; each love was as important as the other. Each experience is the same yet so various.

Sisypus is another absurd man for Camus. Sisypus’s absurd act of moving a rock becomes making sense when each act is not repetitive any more.

 

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