The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  25,650 ratings  ·  671 reviews
One of the most influential works of this century, this is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought. Influenced by works such as Don Juan and the novels of Kafka, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide: the question of living or not living in an absurd universe devoid of order or meaning. With lyric eloquence, Camus posits a way out of despair, reaffirming t...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 7th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1942)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Republic by PlatoThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
Best Philosophy Book
14th out of 556 books — 644 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee1984 by George OrwellThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Best Books of the 20th Century
461st out of 5,703 books — 38,410 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Erik Graff
Oct 09, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: troubled teens
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: philosophy
By the end of high school I was a very unhappy person and had been so since our family moved from unincorporated Kane County to Park Ridge, Illinois when I was ten. At the outset the unhappiness was basically consequent upon leaving a rural setting, small school and friendly, integrated working-class neighborhood for a reactionary suburb, large school and unfriendly upper middle-class populace whose children were, by and large, just as thoughtlessly racist and conservative as their parents were....more
Rakhi Dalal

Camus, as a writer, receives mixed response from the readers. It is understandable when some readers avoid reading him, because he seems a difficult writer whose works are taken to be disturbing. Some readers appreciate his writings though they do not agree with him. While for some, Camus’ ideas are irrelevant when compared with those proposed by existential philosophers. Although Camus is often categorized as an existential philosopher but he himself never approved of that. In one of his interv...more
Yuval
Most of my friends will probably think I'm being sarcastic when I call this as good a "self-help" book as any I can imagine, but this essay honestly inspired in me an awe of human nature and its absurd indomitability. I think Camus gets a bad rap for being a cold, detached pessimist who only points out the meaninglessness of life again and again in his books. OK, he may indeed declare life "meaningless," but this book is passionately affirmative of life in the face of that void. Beginning as a r...more
Jason
Mar 03, 2008 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: slaves, idiots, conceited philosophy students, kafkaphiles, morons
Recommended to Jason by: Ian Karell
Okay, so the basic premise in this book is that there are two schools of thought involved with becoming conscious as a man. There is one in which you become conscious of God, accepting faith as the channel between this world and the next. Existence is a matter of order, one that is concrete and follows the compelling obligations towards the God whom you commit your faith.

The other option is the absurd, for which this book is written. The problem asks is it possible not to commit suicide in a me...more
Simeon
Mar 25, 2012 Simeon marked it as to-finish  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest opening lines of all time:

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer."

- Albert Camus




To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The s...more
David Lentz
In “Sisyphus” Camus explores the great Greek myth to address Hamlet’s ultimate question as to whether one should be or not be. 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...more
Zanna
A good friend introduced me to Nietzsche in my early teens, and Nietzsche and I have had a turbulent relationship ever since. One of the first adult books I read was Kafka's The Trial and Nietzsche was there too, inviting me to step off the city on poles into the bottomless swamp.

Oh baby hold my hand
we're gonna walk on water


Nietzsche said there are no facts, no truth. After he said this, some philosophers stopped writing like Kant and wrote like poets. Camus says here that 'there is no truth, m...more
Rowland Bismark
Albert Camus (1913–1960) is not a philosopher so much as a novelist with a strong philosophical bent. He is most famous for his novels of ideas, such as The Stranger and The Plague, both of which are set in the arid landscape of his native Algeria.

Camus studied philosophy at the University of Algiers, which brought him into contact with two of the major branches of twentieth century philosophy: existentialism and phenomenology. Existentialism arises from an awareness that there is no pre-ordaine...more
Tieu uyen
Hồi đi học, đọc Sisyphus xong chúng mình hay đùa nhau hỏi: Thế Sisyphus chơi nhạc gì? Cả lũ sẽ nhe răng ra cười xong gào lên: “Rock and roll”
Thế đấy, "Huyền thoại Sisyphus" là câu chuyện nhảm nhí về anh chàng sáng lăn tảng đá lên đỉnh núi, rồi đứng nhìn nó rơi xuống, rồi ảnh tà tà hạ sơn, về uống cốc bia, tắm rửa, đi ngủ lấy sức sáng mai lại ra lăn cái hòn đá nọ lên đỉnh núi, rồi lại đứng nhìn nó rơi xuống rồi mọi việc lại diễn ra y chang ngày hôm qua, cứ thế ngày này qua tháng nọ. Cuộc đời vốn...more
Jonathan

Mythology is a passion of mine and has been ever since I was a younger child - an age when I had much greater clarity of mind than I do now and was hampered less by outward influences. Therefore, to see Albert Camus write a sequence of differing essays which explore existentialism (whether he was truly an 'existentialist' is a matter of debate and conjecture but he was interested in existentialist concepts) in a manner that connects back to mythology was fascinating.

For those who are unaware, th...more
Patrick
Feb 07, 2008 Patrick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: philosophers, dorm room and otherwise
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. It contained some really interested ideas regarding the philosophy of absurdism, which I would best describe as something of a happy medium between existentialism and nihilism, though I understand Camus himself might consider it nihilism's polar opposite.

That said, I can't say I reall...more
Adrian Colesberry
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...more
Ahmed Youssif
"فى اللحظة الدقيقة التى يظر فيها الانسان الى الخلف ليستعرض حياته ، حين يعود سيزيف الى الصخرة ، فى ذلك الدوران الضئيل يتأمل تلك السلسة من الفعاليات اللامرتبطة ببعضها، التى تصبح مصيره ، الذى يخلقه هو والذى يمتزج تحت عين ذاكرته ، و سرعان ما يختم عليه موته... و هكذا ، فهو يستمر فى سيره مقتنعاً بالأصل البشرى تماماً لكل ما هو بشرى ، كالأعمى المتلهف للرؤية ،الذى يعرف أن الليل لن ينتهى أبداً ،، و الصخرة لاتزال تتدحرج ."
_____________

بحث فلسفى عن اللاجدوى , سيزيف , والعبث ،كمحاولة يائسة لتقديم الأمل فى ال...more
Greg Deane
Albert Camus observed in “The Myth of Sisyphus” that ‘There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.’ Sisyphus trickster, and the founder of Corinth, who was so bold that he deceived the gods. For...more
Mme. Bookling ~
In this philosophical essay, Camus presents and defends his philosophical school of thought entitled the philosophy of the absurd.

The philosophy of the absurd asks about man's futile search for meaning in a world which it devoid of eternity. 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...more
Simona
Ho avuto delle enormi difficoltà a leggere questo libro, dato che le mie reminiscenze filosofiche risalgono ai tempi del liceo ( ormai anni or sono).
Credo che il fine di un libro sia scuoterti, portare il lettore a riflettere, a porsi delle domande e questo saggio filosofico ha avuto questo merito.
Camus parte dal mito di Sisifo per offrirci il suo pensiero sul suicidio ("Il suicidio è l'accettazione del prorpio limite"), sull'assurdo delle nostre vite, l'angoscia prendendo spunto da alcuni gra...more
David Williamson
This should be called 'The Myth of Sisyphus: and some tagged on essays that are not really relevant'. There seems to be three travel essays, although interesting are arbitrary to the main text (however, 'Helen in Exile' is very good).



Camus' book is a stark contrast to the 'The Outsider', which although complex, uses langauge in a matter of fact way. To the point, but articulate. The Myth of Sisyphus does not. Its use of poetic language and structure can be difficult to dissect, and at times is j...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
The meaninglessness of life. Sigh. 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. I actually found some strange comfort in this.
Eliana Rivero
Este mismo corazón mío me resultará siempre indefinible. Entre la certidumbre que tengo de mi existencia y el contenido que trato de dar a esta seguridad hay un foso que nunca será colmado. Seré siempre extraño a mí mismo


Creo que siempre me dará pánico hablar de Camus, sobre todo porque no sé qué pasa cuando termino de leer sus libros. De primera, es un libro muy filosófico. Son muchas cosas, pero principalmente, el libro es un ensayo donde Camus plantea sus ideas sobre la muerte y el suicidio...more
Paul Bard
Sisyphus is a Greek myth for a guy who refused to stay dead so he was punished by pushing a rock up a hill forever. Albert Camus likes the idea of not staying dead so much that he pretends that it wouldn't completely suck forever pushing a rock up a hill. Riight.

And...sure; Sisyphus has a lust for life (and not the tasteless Irving Wallace kind of lust for life, but the Zorba the Greek kind of lust). But is it really worth flaunting the gods and all of Greek culture? Camus, following Nietzsche,...more
Cooper Cooper
This is one of the most influential books of the twentieth century. In it Albert Camus, one of the two (with Jean-Paul Sartre) leading “French existentialists,” faces the problem of suicide: an act that seems to make philosophical sense in a world in which one is born accidentally and suffers and dies to no apparent purpose. Camus: “The subject of this essay is precisely the relationship between the absurd and suicide, the exact degree to which suicide is a solution to the absurd.” Keep in mind...more
Insania
Quest'opera vuol essere il "manifesto" filosofico di Camus, con quella certa carica di pretesa letteraria che esige una dedita lettura attenta. E così ho fatto.

Camus cita nel saggio moltissimi filosofi e letterati specialmente ottocenteschi che rientrano nel filone esistenzialista, e se ne serve per approdare a una conseguenza più moderna, che è l'assurdismo.

Di Kierkegaard conserva il concetto di angoscia e disperazione esistenziale che sottostanno alla consapevolezza che vi è un divorzio tra l...more
David
Is life worth living?

Camus began his book by saying there is only one major question, that of suicide. If life is meaningless then perhaps suicide is an option? And for Camus life certainly is meaningless - on one hand we have a desire for some sort of transcendent meaning inside of us, but on the other hand when we examine the world we see there is no such meaning. These two put together are the absurd. Of course, we can commit philosophical suicide by leaping into the void and embracing this m...more
Fatima Abdullah


" تهدف الأسطورة في هذا الكتاب إلى حل مشكلة الانتحار بدون مساعدة القيم الدائمة التي هي، ربما مؤقتاً، غير موجودة أو مشوهة في أوروبا اليوم. إن الموضوع الأساسي في أسطورة سيزيف، هو هذا: من المشروع والضروري التساؤل عما إذا كان للحياة معنى، وهكذا فمن المشروع أن نواجه فكرة الانتحار وجهاً لوجه. والجواب، الذي يكمن في، ويلوح عبر المتناقضات التي تغطيه، هو هذا: حتى إذا لم يؤمن المرء بالله، فإن الانتحار غير مشروع. إن هذا الكتاب الذي ألفه كامو في عام 1940، خلال الكوارث الفرنسية والأوروبية يبين أنه، حتى ضمن حدو...more
Mohamed
http://www.spicegag.com/wp-content/up...

A brilliant collection of essays concerning the aspect of Absurd-ism and its manifestations in art and literature, Portrayals of affection for summer cities, notes on the western civilization's spirit then and a short interview with Camus himself in which he discusses the artist's roles in shaping the events of his time.
Perfect book for anyone interested in existentialism and absurd-ism philosophies, Would be good casual read for anyone except for the firs...more
1.1
Beyond merely rewarding the reader this book is filled with piquant quotes you can throw around or think about, such as:

"Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future." (The Artist and His Time)

or consider:

"The most exemplary life and thought of those centuries close on a proud confession of ignorance. Forgetting that, we have forgotten our virility. We have preferred the power that a...more
Erythrina
Since it is 'the thing' nowadays to put lots of sparkly gifs and pics in a review, who am I to differ?



Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


"They bear away from their light, while their strict lord Death bids them to dance... and the rain washes, and cleanses the salt of their tears from their cheeks."

Absurd enough.

(view spoiler)

Geoff
I am going to divide my review into two parts. In the first part, I will give an all too brief outline of Albert Camus' philosophy along with my opinion and thoughts on the essay entitled The Myth of Sisyphus. I will not include the section titled The Myth of Sisyphus or the Appendix in my review. The second part will be an expansion of the outline and will be contained in a spoiler section. It will be based on what I gathered to be Camus' main points in each of the three sections of his essay.

I...more
Alex Leskanich
Can an individual live without appeal? That is the question formed at the heart of this book. But appeal to what? God? Immortality? Absolute meaning? The hope of salvation, of redemption? Yes, all those things and more are sought as means of escape from the Absurd - which is the life which knows its limitations, and resists the desire to appeal. It lives on hope instead, but a hope different to the one offered by the monotheistic traditions, or that offered by the material consumption of things...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
  • Existentialism Is a Humanism
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • The Sickness Unto Death (Kierkegaard's Writings, Volume 19)
  • The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs
  • Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy
  • Being and Time
  • The Human Condition
  • On the Heights of Despair
  • Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • A Kierkegaard Anthology
  • Phenomenology of Perception
957894
Albert Camus was an Algerian-born French author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He is often cited as a proponent of existentialism (the philosophy that he was associated with during his own lifetime), but Camus himself rejected this particular label. Specifically, his views contributed to the rise of the more current philosophy known as absurdis...more
More about Albert Camus...
The Stranger The Plague The Fall The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt Exile and the Kingdom

Share This Book

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion."

[The Minotaur]”
755 likes
“Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.” 566 likes
More quotes…