The Myth of Sisyphus (Penguin Great Ideas) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Aug 2005
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About the Author
Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a French writer and philosopher. Among his works are The Stranger (1942), The Plague (1947), The Fall (1956), and Exile and the Kingdom (1957). He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957.
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Top Customer Reviews
He clubs philosophers, scientists and religious acolytes together for their leap into construction and the world of their belief; "the leap does not represent an extreme danger, as Kierkegaard would have it. The danger, on the contrary, lies in the subtle instant that precedes the leap. Being able to remain in that dizzying crest - that is integrity and the rest is subterfuge."
Aware of the dangers of ignorance and enthusiasm, Camus propounds a life of self-exhaustion and permanent revolution, concerned not only with the quality of life, but with its quantity; "a man's rule of conduct and his scale of values have no meaning except through the quantity and variety of experiences he has been able to accumulate." But this is not a blank cheque for violence, "one must not be a dupe", it is the means for art to realise its ultimate importance; "the great work of art has less significance in itself than the ordeal that it demands of the man and the opportunity which it provides him of overcoming his phantoms and approaching a little closer to his naked reality." Absurdity provides us with a justification for authentic creative effort.
Technically, Camus does not impress, as Sartre's or Heidegger's analyses do.Read more ›
Camus is acknowledging that logically, in a universe that man can never know the point of, suicide is the sensible option. We will never know why we are here, or if there is reason, so should stop looking now, and end it all. But that rather cuts short the chance of future fun, doesn`t it? Even the bleakest of days can have something to recommend them. As Dawkins wryly notes in "The God Delusion", a friend of his was "rather looking forward to a good lunch", for example. Personally, I wouldn`t want to die without hearing the new Van Halen album, or wondering if England can become the No.1 ranked cricket team (doubtless some of you have an answer to that one already). It might be taken out of our hands at any time anyway, so why rush things along?
A leap of faith might be the answer. Hmmm...not for me I`m afraid. Whilst blindly believing something contrary to all logic appears to be of comfort to billions worldwide, this is, Camus observes rightly, philosophical suicide. Ignoring all logic and reasoning and evidence cannot be easy to do.Read more ›
Camus's aim is not to overcome a sense of alienation or separateness from the world. In The Outsider Meursault takes a defiant pleasure in this condition. Sisyphus, the `absurd hero', feels a `silent joy' in living in a world where `man feels an alien, a stranger...his exile...without remedy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I sincerely hope Penguin only reissued this version in 2005 in order to raise cash for a new translation of these essays. Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Farin
interesting read, very small and short book that probes the mind... a great travel companion.Published 8 months ago by Mr. J. Rolph
Optimistic about mankind in a way muses such as Jacques Brel aren't, Camus posits that the body takes the mind forward and that the only thing we can't understand is... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dan Smith