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The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  33,613 Ratings  ·  909 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, 212 pages
Published May 7th 1991 by Vintage International (first published 1942)
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Saurav You certainly can download it on Google play or Kindle etc.

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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
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
May 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing

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
Mar 24, 2011 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
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
David Lentz
Jun 20, 2011 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
Steven  Godin
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: existential, france
Albert Camus has captured the internal plight of much of the modern world. When a person begins to question his own monotonous reality, seeking to find meaning behind his daily motions of life and failing to find any at all, he comes to contemplate that void. Camus implies that if one were to honestly think about “nothing,” it would be the contemplation of the futility of most questions in life. He exemplifies the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. People lived and died in pursuit of t ...more
Shima Mahmoudi
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
من این کتابو به خاطر افسانه سیزیفش شروع کردم چون بخشی از کلاس معنای زندگی بنیاد فرهنگ زندگی بود.
کتاب فوق العاده ایه.
از اوناست که میتونی در مورد مسائل مطرح شده ساعت ها فکر کنی و خواندن تک تک جملاتش لذت ببری.
شایدم توی بوک کلاب امسال اصلا این کتابو شروع کنم. خیلی جای بحث داره و حس خوبی منتقل می کنه.
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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)

Elie F
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sisyphus must be humanism in its fiercest form, but is it as heroic as in Camus' idolization?

Because there is no assured eternality and reason knows its limit, man is forced into the corner of absurdity. There are three available options: 1) Turn away from the absurd and leap into spiritual irrationality; 2) Commit suicide and kill one's self-consciousness which is the very source of the break between one and the world; 3) Keep the absurd alive, live unreconciled, revolt consciously, and scorn t
Tieu uyen
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it
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
 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
Dec 17, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Andrei Tamaş
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"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
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
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
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Abeer Abdullah
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, philosophy
It happens that the stage sets collapse. Rising, streetcar, four hours in the office or the factory, meal, streetcar, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm—this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day the “why” arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement. “Begins”—this is important.

I wanted to read the book because i knew its about Suicide. Some personal and social events rec
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
“If the universe is meaningless, so is the statement that it is so… The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance” - Alan Watts.

Thỉnh thoảng đọc sách, có những lúc cảm thấy một năm chỉ cần mua một quyển sách và chỉ đọc đúng quyển đó thôi cũng đã là quá đủ. Một phần vì không muốn việc đọc những quyển khác làm bản thân xao lãng và quên đi nội dung của quyển sách yêu thích. Đó là cảm giác của mình khi đọc The Myth of Sisyphus (bản dịch tiếng Anh của Justin O'Brien; bản dịch tiếng Việt
Candace Morris
Jun 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Cassandra Kay Silva
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
“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 the sentences that Camus started his famous book “the Myth of Sisyphus” in 1942. Sisyphus was the ancient Greek mythological creatures. After that Sisyphus, deceiving the gods, Z
Cooper Cooper
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
« 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
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]”
“Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.” 788 likes
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