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The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  29,793 Ratings  ·  757 Reviews
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, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide; the question of living or not living in a universe devoid of order or meaning. With lyric eloquence, Albert Camus brilliantl ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 31st 2012 by Vintage (first published 1942)
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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
Trevor
Apr 01, 2016 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the question of whether it is better to have no hope at all, or to be constantly confronted with dashed hope. There are certainly parts of my life that I have structured so as to ensure that I have no hope at all – that is, that I live my life in such a way that it is impossible for certain things to ever happen, and those are things that otherwise I would desire intensely – and in large part that is because ‘dashed hope’ was proving far ...more
Yuval
May 24, 2008 Yuval rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lynne King

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.

Only Albert Camus, I believe, could have made that statement.

I’ve tried many times over the years to accept philosophical reasoning by reading various books by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hus
...more
Simeon
Mar 24, 2011 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
Jason
Mar 03, 2008 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Lentz
Jun 20, 2011 David Lentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tieu uyen
May 20, 2013 Tieu uyen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gorana
Since it is 'the thing' nowadays to put lots of sparkly gifs and pics in a review, who am I to differ?



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"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)

Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2008 Jason Koivu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It's been 20 years since I've read The Myth of Sisyphus. Although I've wanted to write a review about it ever since joining Goodreads I haven't, because I don't remember it very well. And yet, every time I go through my books-read list and I see it sitting there unreviewed, I get the urge to write one and then I remember that I don't know the book well enough, so I drop it. A few months later I repeat the cycle. It's sort of like pushing the proverbial boulder up the hill and having it roll back ...more
Tara
Feb 25, 2017 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Human beings.
Shelves: favorites
“At any streetcorner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.”

So, what does The Myth of Sisyphus have to say about absurdity and a universe devoid of any clear, evident meaning? Quite a bit!

First, Camus rigorously defines the Absurd:
“I said that the world is absurd, but I was too hasty. 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 h
...more
Bettie☯
 And that is indeed genius: 
the intelligence that knows its frontiers.

Description: 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.

Opening: There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or i
...more
Andrei Tamaş
Mar 18, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Nu există decât o problemă filosofică într-adevăr importantă: sinuciderea. A hotărî dacă viată merită sau nu trăită înseamnă a răspunde la problema fundamentală a filosofiei!" Aşa priveşte Camus, iar raţionamentul lui este destul de simplu: dat fiind că problema crucială a filosofiei este aceea de a hotărî dacă viată merită sau nu trăită, nu are rost -e absurd!- să mergi cu gândirea mai departe. De ce? Pentru că, dacă răspunsul dat ar fi "nu", toate raţionamentele ulterioare ar fi nule. Asta în ...more
Patrick
Dec 17, 2007 Patrick rated it liked it  ·  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
Amina - أمينَة.
” إن المرء ينتحر لأن الحياة لا تستحقّ أن تُعاش ، و تلك هي حقيقة أكيدة ! ، ولكنّها غير مثمرة ، لأنها حقيقة عاديّة ”
إن الفلسفة في هذا الكتاب ، لهي عميقةٌ حدّ الغرق ، و لا أظن بأن قرائتي لهذا الكتاب ، ستكون لمرة واحدة .

لا جدوى الحياة أمام جدوى الإنتحار / العبثية في الإنتحار / الأمل / سيزيف / شخصيات روائيّة لكّتاب مثل كافكا ، دستويفسكي ... إلخ
هذا ما يناقشه ألبير كامو في مقالته ، حيث يوضح كامو في بداية المقالة ، أن الإنتحار لهو خيار خاطيء ولا مبرر له ، و لا يوجد سبب يدفع الإنسان للإنتحار ، سواء كا
...more
Ben
Jan 18, 2014 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the past few weeks I've found myself immersed in Sartre and Camus, beginning with Sartre's "Existentialism is a Humanism" and then rereading Sartre's essay on Camus (and why reading The Myth of Sisyphus is essential if one is to properly understand The Stranger) and rereading Camus' The Stranger, and then finally reading the present work. I think that The Myth of Sisyphus (and for that matter the other essays in this collection, which Camus wrote prior to Sisyphus, but in which he plants th ...more
رانيا محيو الخليلي
«أسطورة سيزيف» كتاب فلسفي، عبارة عن مجموعة مقالات نسج من خلالها ألبير كامو خلاصة فكره ورؤيته الحياتية والأدبية والفلسفية للوجود. إنه باختصار «العبث» هو الذي ينطلق منه الإنسان على اختلاف فكره وثقافته. إنه دائما ذلك التضارب بين العبث والمنطق، العبث والواقع، العبث والوجود، والعبث والسعادة. قد يكون ذلك تضاربا بين آضاد لكن ألبير كامو وجده تقاربا وتكاملا وتفاعلا من شأنه أن يؤدي إلى السعادة.الكتاب صغير الحجم لكنه يحتاج دقة وتركيزا في القراءة، تناول ألبير كامو من خلاله مسائل شائكة كانت عناوين فصوله. الع ...more
Mme. Bookling ~
Jun 06, 2007 Mme. Bookling ~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Magdalena
Jan 13, 2015 Magdalena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit that philosophy isn't my forte. 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 153 pages.

Camus talks about the absurdity of the human condition, where men task on and on as if death wasn't a certainty. Men require an explanation for life, but the
...more
Abeer
Sep 16, 2016 Abeer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the title essay is incredible, other essays come close, but arent as good.
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.
Some days I relate heavily to camus, other days i prefer Schopenhauer's total pessimism.
when it comes to their brands of 'existentialism' i have to say i prefer camus to sartre. sartre attaches too much power to human will, camus understands h
...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
Aug 06, 2012 Cassandra Kay Silva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
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.
Joshie
Dec 03, 2015 Joshie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, 3-star, own
Absurdism - a philosophy based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe (Merriam-Webster)

The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays was a struggle to read through. On some points,morbid and on others inspiring, the book was divided in three absurd themes: the absurd reasoning, the absurd man and the absurd creation and the following remaining pages of the book were Camus' essays about places (Algi
...more
Jasmine
Aug 18, 2011 Jasmine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: algerian
okay... so um... I say read the novels... I mean maybe I'm just stupid these days but this is not as good. it seems to me that camus has a fundamental difficulty... um... carrying his own train of thought, he's far too all over the place for me here which made it almost impossible to follow the logic which made it impossible to stay engaged.

I'm really debating stars I want to give it 2 cause I know what camus is capable of, but I also know the ideas that are found under this mess and when they
...more
Geoff
Jan 22, 2013 Geoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
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
Cooper Cooper
Jul 14, 2009 Cooper Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Maanasa
May 04, 2014 Maanasa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I even say about a book that I keep wanting to underline every line of. Camus' impassioned, lapidary statement of his actionable personal philosophy is the one I find myself going back to time and again whenever I start feeling stuck. Ironically, his adsurdist essay has all the lyrical cadence of a perfect sermon sprinkled with sparkling moments of cheeky irreverence, but to review this book for its prose is losing sight of the forest for the trees.

The underlying concept is brilliantly
...more
Aseel
Feb 22, 2017 Aseel marked it as not-finished  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
There is a universe of jealousy, of ambition, of selfishness, or of generosity. A universe in otherwords, a metaphysic and an attitude of mind. What is true of already specialized feelings will be even more so of emotions basically as indeterminate, simultaneously as vague and as “definite,” as remote and as “present” as those furnished us by beauty or aroused by absurdity.


Do you remember when Ben Affleck described his marriage as "work" instead of being romantic!
And went on to justify it on SNL
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A Kierkegaard Anthology
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • Existentialism Is a Humanism
  • Fear and Trembling
  • The Gay Science
  • Being and Time
  • Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy
  • Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
  • The Writing of the Disaster
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • Basic Writings of Existentialism
  • The Problems of Philosophy
957894
Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in philosophy (only chance prevented him from pursuing a university care ...more
More about Albert Camus...

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

[The Minotaur]”
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“Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.” 733 likes
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