The Myth of Sisyphus – Albert Camus

Posted on February 5, 2013

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Albert Camus’ ideas about absurdity as his own specific branch of the existentialism philosophy were written in this book. He emphasizes that the absurd takes place in the confrontation between human desire to find an answer in this world, meanwhile this world remains irrational—it  provides no answer. The absurd situation of human is real. Then it raises questions: is suicide an answer? Is life worth living?

Camus argues that our instinct of living is bigger than our logical reasoning: “We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.” Human instinctively avoids to face the meaninglessness of life, chooses to compromise and creates new hopes, such as: hope for finding a meaning in this life, hope for a better next life, which Camus calls as ‘Act of Eluding.’ However, he chooses not to run away and faces the absurd. He deals with it and wants to find out whether one can live with this absurd feeling though it needs a constant revolt.

For Camus, Sisyphus is an absurd hero. Sisyphus is condemned to roll the rock up to the mountain only to roll it down again every time he reaches the top of the mountain. Sisyphus realizes the futility of his action, acknowledges the absurd situation he is in, and like Oedipus who said ‘all is well,’ he is content and accepts it.

Camus concludes that ‘One must imagine Sisyphus happy.’

By understanding the absurdity of life, as Camus has explained, after all “what counts is not the best living but the most living.” Thus, one must be aware of the absurdity and irrationality one is trapped in; acknowledge and accepts it and live life to the fullest.

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(Do you know Patrice Mersault? I think I saw him this morning)

Posted in: Review