- Paperback: 212 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (May 7, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679733736
- ISBN-13: 978-0679733737
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 214 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays Paperback – May 7, 1991
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
About the Author
Born in Algeria in 1913, Albert Camus published The Stranger—now one of the most widely read novels of this century—in 1942. Celebrated in intellectual circles, Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. On January 4, 1960, he was killed in a car accident.
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1. The only true question in philosophy is suicide (Since if one should kill oneself the rest is meaningless)
2. If there is no way to know anything absolutely (as Camus will prove) if man can not reconcile his desire to find a meaning in life with his complete inability to find one is life still worth living?
The answer is yes.
3. Absurd man has 3 things that enrich life. My revolt My freedom, my passion.
My revolt is that I am aware of my own desire for meaning and inability to find it (absurdity) and rather than solve this by taking on belief systems or commiting suicide, i stay with it and live in full awareness of it, not running from the concomitant pain.
My freedom, since all beliefs are ultimately untenable, everything is permitted, I am free to do whatever I want but at the same time no action can have an ultimate meaning
My passion, I live life full of passion even though life is meaningless
Is this the most severe punishment the gods can think of? But to Camus, this is what workers do every day, yet they seldom think it a punishment. Taking a step forward, he concludes that every life is meaningless and absurd, and you and I are all like Sisyphus in terms of our meaningless labor.
Camus praises the acceptance of the absurd. He defies moral and religious values, and promote the absurd judgment: "All is well, everything is permitted, and nothing is hateful."
I have long believed the meaninglessness of life, and Camus' book has added a liberal flavor to my thought: be whatever I want to be, and enjoy my ephemeral life.
I read the work at least five times through, and I can say that each time I read it, I bring a bit more away. His writing is very rich and dense. No sentence can be passed over - and that sucks if your a lazy reader!!! But... at the end of the effort, the results are worth it. You have another take on the whole "Is life, is the effort worth it?" I'll leave that for you to decide, but I do heartily recommend this book!
Interesting side thought - compare the worldly Camus with the rugged individualists across the pond (Emerson, Thoreau, and all the Transcendentalists) with their eternal optimism. Comments welcome! :)
All the best,