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Customer Review

207 of 220 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is best read as a companion to The Stranger., October 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays (Paperback)
Sartre said this book should be read as you read The Stranger, and I have found that advice to be valuable to my students. My kids are always a bit bewildered about the scene where Mersault kills the Arab, but when they read, "The greatest good is the greatest consciousness," they begin to see why the Stranger was so strange. And when he "awakens" just before dawn of the day he is to die, and the students read, "You must live your life as if you have been condemned to die and sun is beginning to rise," they begin to understand. The title essay for the book argues what I think is the final argument in the Ontological question raised by the Greeks: Since life is absurd, where the meanings should be is a vacuum, and we desperately want meaning when we recognize our necessary death, then we are free to make our own meanings, and it is the making of meaning that is the point of living; that is, the growth of individual consciousness. Camus, then, is the great optimist in a time of great pessimism.
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Initial post: Oct 23, 2011 5:12:41 PM PDT
What a great comment. I read "The Stranger" in class when I was 16 and was attracted but baffled. When I was 19 I read "The Myth of Sisyphus" I finally got it. Camus is the great optimist at whatever time you are the great pessimist.
"In the depth of winter I discovered within me an invincible summer."
--Albert Camus
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