Born on this day November 7, 1913, in Mondovi, French Algeria, Albert Camus, a renowned 20th-century French philosopher, author, and journalist, continues to captivate the modern mind through his profound contributions to existentialism and absurdism. His works like The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus have become the pillars of modern philosophy and literature.
The Stranger, arguably Camus’ most recognized work, epitomizes his existentialist philosophy. The novel presents us with an indifferent universe where human life has no inherent meaning or purpose. Through the protagonist, Meursault, Camus challenges conventional morality and societal norms by presenting a character who is unmoved by societal expectations. He lives in the present moment without any regard for the past or future. Meursault’s indifference and apathy become a vehicle for Camus to explore his philosophical ideas about life’s inherent absurdity.
On the other hand, The Myth of Sisyphus is a profound exploration of the concept of the absurd, a central theme in Camus’ philosophy. In this philosophical essay, Camus uses the Greek myth of Sisyphus, condemned eternally to roll a boulder uphill only for it to roll back down again, as a metaphor for human existence. He argues that despite life’s inherent meaninglessness, we must still persist, like Sisyphus, finding joy and purpose in the struggle itself.
Rediscovering Albert Camus in the contemporary world is a journey into the heart of existentialism and absurdism. His works continue to challenge our perceptions of life, morality, and existence, provoking us to question our roles in an indifferent universe. Despite the passage of time, Camus and his philosophy remain relevant, shedding light on the human condition’s fundamental truths.
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”-Albert Camus
Curated by Jennifer