32 - Analysis of Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Despina-Myrto Drougka

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The myth of Sisyphus is an even more extraordinary book than Persuasion and Rhetoric – but it is true that initially the second was not meant to be published – for in the second, we discover the violence of words, whereas in the first, we directly discover the violence of thought. This is all the difference between a revolt and a revolution.

Here the author rejects the usual preoccupations of the philosophers, he content himself with the foundation of man. He analyzes the logical structure of the human object. Poses the problem of its consistency and study the act of suicide: “It is always easier to be logical. It is almost impossible to be logical up to the end.” Hence the question: “Is there a logic until death?” Indeed, “Others, princes in spirit, have also abdicated, but they ended up to the suicide of their thought, in the purest revolt that they proceeded.”

He observes all aspects of man with surprising impartiality, given the subject he discusses “[…] a man is defined as well by his pretenses as by his sincere impulses.” The smallest detail has its importance, since it can generate a singularity. “All great actions and all great thoughts have a derisory beginning. “He emphasizes the most fundamental property of man, not that which serves him to apprehend the world, but that which enables him to define himself, that is, intelligence. On this subject he writes a hymn to human genius: “For a man without blinders, there is no more beautiful spectacle than that of intelligence struggling with a reality that surpasses it.” “And this is where brilliance is found: the intelligence that knows its limits. “This does not mean, however, that he should not be inexorable; “[…] the genius does not excuse anything, precisely because it is nullified this way.”

Nothing is innocent in Camus, his book is a veritable essay on the absurd, it is the transcription of a reasoning of which implacable logic leads to the absurd. But this absurdity is not like the atrocious anguish of Baudelaire who, in his work Spleen, despotic, on his inclined skull plants his black flag. Indeed ,”To be deprived of hope, it is not desperation. “The author is in fact much clearer than that, since he asserts that “the struggle itself to the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. “And concludes by saying that “we must imagine Sisyphus as being happy.”

You, a rare reader, who has followed me so far, whose brain is now scarred by these lines of thought, I warn you: you will need Atlas’ shoulders and a will of Prometheus, to endure and conquer the universe of the Myth of Sisyphus.