Skip Nav

The Myth of Sisyphus

Customers who bought this item also bought

❶Works by Albert Camus.

The Myth of Sisyphus

Find a copy in the library
Navigation menu
And Other Essays

It would be a crime to strip my life of the possibility of something. Even if I am a slave I can sing. Really, the impetus is for responsibility. What I do in this life is directly reflected in this life. If I steal, then there is recourse. If I lie; but what if someone lies to me?

Morality lines things within the sights of God, establishing guilt. I feel guilt for not abiding to my addiction. Who can identify the real factions of guilt, who can identify its sincerity. Everything begins with lucid indifference.

Anything that I do has no value. On the other hand, I am living and I am breathing and in a strange way I have a personal freedom unpronounced by most people who establish their own freedoms. All I have to do is have faith in my freedom and like a majesty that is lain out in silver robes before me, it is there.

I only have to respect that I am living in a free slate, unmitigated by a stratified moral imperative that limits so many people from following intuition and there actual imperative needs.

Do you believe in destiny? That we all have a purpose and it is designated by our need to imbibe the principles of our life into a system that we can identify for ourselves. There is that mode of philosophy that says that we are the people whom we are, we are meant to be these people, this specific type of person completely genuine to himself and totally as that self.

My identity is the world surrounding me combusting into a single frame that I can represent justly by my merely living life as I should be doing it. I do not need to live up to this social strata of an impartial development towards nowhere, rather I should live life as I make fit, feeling good.

So what if my endeavors are rooted to rolling a rock up a hill at least I have something to do, in the formation of my universe I need a place to put what is concrete, even if there is nothing concrete. As analogous creatures, if we do not have any basis to compare then we are no more capable of being thoughtful than a bar of soap. And at the last moment before my death, that is how I could acknowledge that I was alive. Or how I am still alive, whatever. View all 6 comments.

Camus scoffs at Kierkegaard who also addresses the plight of the Absurd Man, by which both thinkers understand the human condition today when faced with life in which it appears incomprehensible through pure reason. Camus darkly adds that life is ultimately futile because mankind is powerless and after all life is simply an endless series of hardships, which symbolically entail rolling a boulder up a mountainside only to watch it fall to the bottom whereupon the process must be repeated endlessly.

Camus praises Nietzsche and in the writing style in many places Camus reads very much like Nietzsche. Camus also widely praises Kafka and his novels as projecting in "The Trial" and "The Castle" worthy epitomes of the hopeless condition of man against the absurdity of life.

For Camus, reason takes one sooner or later to the abyss where one peers into the utter hopelessness of the human condition and catches a lucid glimpse of death, which challenges him to question the "everydayness of existence. In his view the everydayness of mankind in work robs us of the consciousness necessary to gain a lucid perspective of life.

Camus has infinite faith in reason. This is where he and Kierkegaard divide their views of the human condition. Camus criticizes Kierkegaard for making a leap of faith into the god which consumes him. He sees Sisyphus as becoming as strong as the rock that he pushes up the mountainside and views himself as the Absurd Man pushing the rock up the mountain in revolt of the gods but gaining the lucidity of a Zarathustra in the process and accepting his life bravely "without appeal.

As Camus writes with the confidence of Nietzsche in his beautiful phrasing in this essay, at times almost gnostic in tone and sense, with a propensity to cite apparent contradictions in which the opposites both seem true. And for Camus this choice is a life and death matter. While I admire the writing and philosophy of Camus, he does not seem fully to understand the reason why reasonable people adopt positions of faith.

Camus is an egoist and narcissist for whom the world beyond his reason is a reason not to commit intellectual suicide at the expense of humiliated reason. Kierkegaard is a higher genius in my view because he has taken a long, perceptive and intelligent study of the abyss and recognizes that his reason can only take him so far.

If God exists, as Kierkegaard believes, then He has not created humanity with sufficient brains to make sense of the vastness, complexity and mystery of the universe. Kierkegaard is a proponent of reason but recognizes with proper humility that he is not the center of the universe and when his reason reaches a dead-end, then faith can kick-in as a reasonable means of experiencing the Absurd in a life affirming-approach which recognizes that some of the deeper questions may be answered later, if only one will persist, and that the best hope to overcome the abyss is to give reason more time to fathom the Absurd.

This requires faith in oneself, faith in existence and more faith in the power reason itself. Camus is a chauvinist to pure reason. Kierkegaard says rather humbly that in this grand dance to the music of time that faith is the only sane and, indeed, the most reasonable approach to the Absurd. Camus deals with suicide; Kierkegaard more reasonably proposes faith and love instead as solutions, as real weapons to confront the Absurd.

Why address an Absurd universe with reason anyway as Camus proposes? Why not confront an Absurd universe with your own Absurdity: I know of no dead men who manage to achieve a higher state of personal enlightenment after they off themselves.

Why would it not be the height of reason to admit that there are many grand mysteries of existence which man does not have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, nor the limited intellectual bandwidth to process in a universe as vast as ours? It is not necessary to deny life and time the opportunity to hope that answers will be forthcoming and abdicate, as Camus discusses, to the senseless prospect of cutting short both: In the world of Camus there is no God but him: Camus believes that, if man has no higher God to appeal to, then man must be free from the will of a non-existent God.

Further, life requires the courage of Abraham to take the leap of faith and is not intellectual suicide but rather is a higher form of intelligence which enables the faculties beyond the limits of reason to add value to the existential experience of life.

I emphasize that taking a leap of faith requires courage: The leap of faith also requires humility of which many intellectual egotists are incapable: Spare me the logic of such pure unreason: Faith adds an additional intellectual sense as a another dimension to come into play and to deny its expression, out of egoism or chauvinism to pure reason, seems to me to be the height of pure folly. Kierkegaard lived in the streets of Copenhagen like Dostoyevsky in St. Petersberg as a homeless person: We have ample reason to believe in hope and our everyday life is full of reason as to why mankind should be hopeful about future outcomes while lucidly grasping from reason and experience that many outcomes will not play out as hoped amid the randomness and chaos which inhabit our vast universe.

Mankind does have the highly reasonable freedom at its disposal to hope that on the whole life is well worth living.

I must reject the narrowness of the perspective of Camus in this essay and embrace in all humility the limits of human reason while concurrently embracing it for all it is worth, which is considerable, and enable both the twin leaps or faith and love to perform for me when the absurdity of life leaves me no other reasonable approach. As Camus points out the trip down the mountainside even for Sisyphus was full of enlightenment and from the mountaintop the view is absurdly vast and truly lucid in its overwhelming and inexhaustible beauty.

View all 12 comments. Aug 20, Steven Godin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Albert Camus has captured the internal plight of much of the modern world. When a person begins to question his own monotonous reality, seeking to find meaning behind his daily motions of life and failing to find any at all, he comes to contemplate that void. He exemplifies the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. People lived and died in pursuit of t Albert Camus has captured the internal plight of much of the modern world.

People lived and died in pursuit of that knowledge, and yet the question and answer alike do not matter, because we live in accordance to social structures and norms that are man-made and will one day be reformed, replaced, or blinked out of existence. The insignificance of human life in comparison to the infinite void of space and the abstract concept of time, which rules over humanity, is the notion which can manifest in the minds of men and bring about absurdity.

He suggests that suicide amounts to a confession that life is not worth living. He links this confession to what he calls the "feeling of absurdity", that on the whole, we go through life with meaning and purpose, with a sense that we do things for good and profound reasons. Occasionally, however for some at least, we might come to see our daily lives dictated primarily by the forces of habit, thus bringing into question the following, if one feels that the embodiment of freedom is lost to a drone-like existence, all of our actions and reasons for them to a degree become pointless, with a feeling of absurdity linked to meaningless, meaningless to death by ones own hand.

The book delves deep into "absurdity" a concept which is at the backbone to the book however is never fully explained with clarity. Definitely an essential book for those interested in nihilism as the alternative rather optimistic take on the concept is enlightening and on the contrary to common belief of the concept being parallel with pessimism.

Camus in basic terms simply implies that we start to live before the habit of thinking on a deep level takes hold, thus avoiding the consequences of the meaningless nature of life, through what Camus calls an "act of eluding. One the main attributes used throughout his fiction, that of "exile" is also included heavily as a comparative for this essay. No one else but Camus could have wrote this work, as soon as you enter his world, the world around you becomes less apparent.

Ending with with a discussion of the myth of Sisyphus to complete this work, who, according to the Greek myth, was punished for all eternity to roll a rock up a mountain only to have it roll back down to the bottom when he reaches the top. Sisyphus, the absurd hero, and his punishment are representative of the human condition, he must struggle perpetually and without hope of success.

Says Camus, so long as he accepts that there is nothing more to life than this absurd struggle, then he can find happiness in it. Sep 29, Shima Mahmoudi rated it it was amazing. Nov 23, Gorana rated it it was amazing Shelves: May 20, Tieu uyen rated it it was amazing. Nov 22, Jason Koivu rated it liked it Shelves: A few months later I repeat the cycle. Wish I could remember what this book was about And that is indeed genius: Judging whether life is or i And that is indeed genius: All the rest—whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories—comes afterwards.

And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect. Dipping into this as an aside to my current bedside read Nine Lives and that the Jains are in the news this week.

So many high star results, so few words. Is that because no-one wishes to contemplate death? Nothing is inconsequential here. Leaving home at a young age, he first lived with the Christians in Palestine, before eventually being expelled from that community and adopting the life of a Cynic philosopher and eventually settling in Greece.

He is most remembered for committing suicide by giving his own funeral oration and cremating himself on a funeral pyre at the Olympic Games in The loves we share with a city are often secret loves. Old walled towns like Paris, Prague, and even Florence are closed in on themselves and hence limit the world that belongs to them. But Algiers together with certain other privileged places such as cities on the sea opens to the sky like a mouth or a wound.

In Algiers one loves the commonplaces: And, as always, in that unashamed offering there is a secret fragrance. In Paris it is possible to be homesick for space and a beating of wings.

Here at least man is gratified in every wish and, sure of his desires, can at last measure his possessions. Dec 17, Patrick rated it liked it Recommends it for: There was a part of me that really, really, really wanted to give this book 4 stars because of the way it made me think about life and consider and reconsider my own notions about the meaning we make in our worlds.

There were some interesting ideas eloquently described, but Camus gets a little too bogged down in his own verbosity. It seemed as if he had things to say, very interesting, thought-provoking things to say, but he would rather dance around them with flowery language and arcane examples rather than just come out with them.

Camus had enough interesting sentiments to keep me going, but it definitely got to the point where it became a chore to read. Classic for a reason. This book is a tonic for any agnostic or cynic struggling with the whole meaning-of-life thing.

Camus, in a way that I find totally satisfying, solves that problem without the standard religious cop-out of locating meaning outside this world. What is wrong with being Sisyphus? Is this a punishment or is this just what life is if you take you head out of the bubble for long enough to see the truth of things.

My essential vision of life I more or less cribbed from Camus and S Classic for a reason. My essential vision of life I more or less cribbed from Camus and Sartre: Aug 02, M.

Dense as hell but worth the effort. Jan 13, Magdalena rated it really liked it. I ventured into The Myth of Sisyphus because The Stranger was one of the books that shook me the most during my high school years, and left me wanting to read more of Camus.

Several years later, I chose this book. This was a tough book to tackle. It took me almost six months to read its pages. Men seek to solve this absurdity, and Camus asks: It is only when man is aware of this absurdity that he himself becomes absurd. Sisyphus is able to find joy in his life when he grows consciousness, during his descent into his daily meaningless task, and takes his destiny for his own.

Camus demands rebellion, creativity, and passion. Therefore, here I end this review, for now. Sep 16, Abeer Abdullah rated it really liked it Shelves: I feel That camus philosophy is actually incredibly optimistic because it draws a being who is totally aware of the futility of his own existence but non the less derives joy from it.

First, Camus rigorously defines the Absurd: The world in itself is not reasonable, that is all that can be said. But what is absurd is the confrontation of this irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart. The absurd depends as much on man as on the world.

He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.

But I know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it. What can a meaning outside my condition mean to me? I can understand only in human terms. What I touch, what resists me—that is what I understand. And these two certainties—my appetite for the absolute and for unity and the impossibility of reducing this world to a rational and reasonable principle—I also know that I cannot reconcile them.

What other truth can I admit without lying, without bringing in a hope I lack and which means nothing within the limits of my condition? He mentions other inauthentic coping mechanisms, including religion. He incisively examines that temptation here: In spontaneously accepted slavery they recover a deeper independence.

But what does that freedom mean? Only by being aware of your condition and facing it can you accept it and even find happiness and dignity. You can surmount it by refusing to allow it crush your spirit or define you. I can take it, bitch! I eat Absurdity for breakfast! Then we come to the actual myth, which gives us a relatively triumphant Sisyphus: The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.

On this point everything has been said and it is only proper to avoid pathos. Properly speaking, nothing has been experienced but what has been lived and made conscious. It is a substitute, an illusion, and it never quite convinces us. That melancholy convention cannot be persuasive.

The horror comes in reality from the mathematical aspect of the event. If time frightens us, this is because it works out the problem and the solution comes afterward. I know no more stirring symbol; for, contrary to the general belief, hope equals resignation. And to live is not to resign oneself. It was face-meltingly amazing!

All of those buzzwords you see on supermarket bestselling paperback thrillers actually apply here. It was compelling, honest, incisive, and bold. It was almost impossible to put down.

I remember at that time I read Nausea multiple times and carried it around to sort of like ward off the omnipresent feeling of dread I was experiencing. It was my holy book, my life raft, my anchor. The Myth of Sisyphus would have been most welcome in that time of questioning and feeling hopelessly adrift that so many of us go through at that age. I think Camus is a goddamn rock star. Oct 12, Muthuvel rated it really liked it Shelves: Painting attempt of mine for the sake of philosophical suicide dated Rising, streetcar, four hours in the office or the factory, meal, streetcar, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm—this path is easily followed most of the time.

I wanted to read Painting attempt of mine for the sake of philosophical suicide dated I wanted to read the book because i knew its about Suicide. Some personal and social events recently motivated me to read. And the book is a very difficult read for me, to be honest. Got a whole new experience of what it means to be "absurd". The Myth of Sisyphus totally hooked me up that it took me a whole night finishing it, pondering the perceptions of Camus taking many periodical stops during the journey.

Not recommended for all. The Essay also includes the philosophical absurdities brought up by fellow philosophers like Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger. Living is keeping the absurd alive. Keeping it alive is, above all, contemplating it. He also intends in elaborating his personal views on Love, Fame, some highly held beliefs other absurdities that stir up suicidal notions when broken and beyond mending up.

A Book that ought to be read and ponder the stuffs out of it by every serious readers. Jul 31, Anh rated it really liked it Shelves: Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it.

That revolt of the flesh is the absurd. By the mere activity of consciousness I transform into a rule of life what was an invitation to death—and I refuse suicide.

His fate belongs to him. His rock is his thing. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. View all 3 comments. Jan 18, Ben rated it it was amazing. What sets apart the essays in this collection that follow Sisyphus chronologically the earlier ones is that in them Camus begins to establish his philosophy of the Absurd, but he gives each of these discussions a setting familiar to him, all cities in Algeria Algiers, Tipasa, Oran. The earliest essay in this collection "Summer in Algiers" is from , and it was written at a time when Algerian resistance to French rule was rising, at a time of instability and chaos in the region, just after Camus had joined the Communist Party, and before his shift to anarchism.

In a world of so much destruction and death, when so many had lost everything they had -- parents, children, spouses, homes -- how could one make sense of the world? How could one accept the existence of God, which so many earlier philosophers had taken for granted, in the face of so much hate and destruction? And, most importantly, if God was dead and the world seemed to many to be meaningless, then what was the point of carrying on? He proceeds therein to address the role of man in this new world, "in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and light" where "man feels an alien, a stranger," where "[h]is exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land.

As this main essay progresses, Camus takes aim at existentialist philosophers, and draws on Greek mythology particularly, as the title of the essay suggests, that "absurd hero" Sisyphus , contemporary philosophy and the works of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Shakespeare, Nietzsche and on the story of Don Juan among other sources.

In the end, Camus assures his readers that "The point is to live. Jun 06, Candace Morris rated it really liked it. In this philosophical essay, Camus presents and defends his philosophical school of thought entitled the philosophy of the absurd. He presupposes the question: Does the realization of the absurdity of life mean suicide is the best option for mankind? Throughout the essay, he comes to say that suicide is not the best option--but revolt. This is seriously such a fascinating review of exist In this philosophical essay, Camus presents and defends his philosophical school of thought entitled the philosophy of the absurd.

This is seriously such a fascinating review of existentialism and the meaninglessness of life. It leaves you with the thought to do with as you will -- "What counts is not the best living but the most living. In the last chapter, Camus outlines the legend of Sisyphus who defied the gods and put Death in chains so that no human needed to die. When Death was eventually liberated and it came time for Sisyphus himself to die, he concocted a deceit which let him escape from the underworld.

Finally captured, the gods decided on his punishment: Camus sees Sisyphus, who lives life to the fullest, hates death and is condemned to a meaningless task, as the absurd hero. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. This is the tragic moment, when the hero becomes conscious of his wretched condition.

He does not have hope, but "[t]here is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn. Camus argues that Sisyphus is truly happy precisely because the futility of his task is beyond doubt: With a nod to the similarly cursed Greek hero Oedipus, Camus concludes that "all is well. Aug 06, Cassandra Kay Silva rated it really liked it Shelves: The meaninglessness of life.

I think this is the true path to the wakening of the adult from the child. This bubble bursting awareness that there really may be nothing else out there and that time marches us on toward our inevitable death. Something about the myth at the end though was fairly reassuring. On January 4, , he… More about Albert Camus. Literary Collections Philosophy Category: Add to Cart Add to Cart.

Also in Vintage International. Also by Albert Camus. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.

Read it Forward Read it first. Unbound Worlds Exploring the science fiction and fantasy universe. Stay in Touch Sign up.

The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays Summary & Study Guide Description

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays has 33, ratings and reviews. Joshua Nomen-Mutatio said: Rakhi said: Camus, as a writer, receives mixed re /5.

Privacy FAQs

The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays [Albert Camus, Justin O'Brien] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. One of the most influential works of this century, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought. Influenced by works such as Don Juan and the novels of Kafka/5().

About Our Ads

The Myth Of Sisyphus And Other Essays Albert Camus Translated from the French by Justin O’Brien But it is useful to note at the same time that the absurd, hitherto taken as a conclusion, is considered in this essay as a starting-point. In this sense it may be said that there is something. The Myth of Sisyphus (French: Le Mythe de Sisyphe) is a philosophical essay by Albert Camus. The English translation by Justin O'Brien was first published in The English translation by Justin O'Brien was first published in

Cookie Info

The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Camus, Albert and a great selection of similar Used, New and Collectible Books available now at Myth Sisyphus Other Essays - AbeBooks Passion for books. [Preface / Albert Camus] --Myth of Sisyphus --Absurd reasoning: Absurdity and suicide ; Absurd walls ; Philosophical suicide ; Absurd freedom --Absurd man: Don Juanism ; Drama ; Conquest --Absurd .