This French writer, author of famous works such as “The Stranger”, also reflected on life and its particularities in philosophical and journalistic treatises. What Albert Camus said about life and the absurd.
Camus was born on November 7, 1913 in Mondovì, French Algeria. He was one of the most important literary figures of 20th century Europe and a reference of ideas and philosophy together with Jean-Paul Sartre.
For his novels he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, at the age of 44. Unlike SartreCamus accepted the prize and the money it entailed and was the second youngest person to receive the prize.
The absurdity of life by Albert Camus
The Algerian intellectual created a philosophical theory based on atheistic existentialism which he defined as “absurd”. In this sense, He declared that he was not an existentialist, which led to a break with Sartre, who was a great friend.
One of his most famous lines was: “Anyone can experience the absurd.”
What was Camus talking about when he said this? Western philosophy has, among others, a recurring question about because of existence or what meaning human life has.
These questions have had different answers throughout history, depending on current of thought, but Camus was blunt: they lack logic since existence has no meaning for the universe.
“Mom died today. Or maybe she was yesterday. I don’t know”, are the first words the reader encounters in The Stranger (1942). This phrase serves as a simple summary of his thinking: There is no meaning in life.
“The absurd arises from that comparison between the human call and the unreasonable silence of the world. This is what must not be forgotten. You have to hold on to it, because from there the whole consequence of a life can arise. The irrational, human nostalgia and the absurdity that emerges from their face to face, these are the three characters of the drama that must necessarily end with all the logic of which an existence is capable”, writes the author in his book “The Myth of Sisyphus”, always from 1942.
Accepting the absurd would be for him the individual’s vital response: understand that the senselessness of the questions asked does not mean that life is not worth living.
The fact is that Albert Camus was not in favor of pessimistic thoughts, much less suicide. “I still believe that this world has no higher meaning. But I know that something has meaning in him and that that something is man, because he is the only being who demands to have it”, writes the French author in Letters to a German Friend, in 1944.
What this statement implies is this the meaning of life is the very existence of the human beingwithout claims of superior natural laws.
“From the absurd I obtained three consequences: my rebellion, my freedom and my passion. With the mere play of conscience he transformed into a rule of life what was an invitation to death…”, he also writes in “The myth of Sisyphus”.
Rebellion would be the first possible reaction to the absurdity of living. Freedom is valued as “a heart that can live and feel” always within itself “doing within common rules”. Far from nihilism, the French author sees coexistence as a pillar values the individual as an intrinsically social being.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.