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Albert Camus: Real Existence or Existence Reality?

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:01 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.2 
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‘Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is’— Albert Camus announced this in the Introduction to The Rebel (1951). Encompassing the author in his above mentioned predicament, it would be impossible, however, to unravel his ‘being’. We would, thus, begin this analysis on Camus with the Sisyphus-like pre-supposition of sure shot failure, philosophised by the great man himself.Camus was born in 1913 at Mondovi in Algeria & was fostered all through by extreme poverty. He also played a vital role in the intellectual probes associated with the horrid World Wars.

It was the publication of his essay The Myth of Sisyphus(1942) that transformed him from just a provincial essayist to one of the canonical modern & post modern thinkers.



In that celebrated essay, Camus presents the idea of suicide- actual & philosophical as the two modes to attain the so-called ‘existential freedom’. Even in The Fall (1956), he communicates through Jean-Baptiste Clamence--- “Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to your skepticism.” Coming back to The Myth of Sisyphus, There Camus comes up with the image of the absurd world. It is absurd in its unrealized multiplicities which are not explicable within any single logical paradigm. It is essentially the vision of a universe, torn between numerous cross- currents (cultural, social, political, economic & metaphysical), where logical explanation is but an el dorado. Absurd is to Camus, the only animating link between the individual & the external world--“The absurd is not in man nor in the world, but in their presence together...it is the only bond uniting them.” And so the only way to combat it is to learn to live with its lethal awareness. In this banal consciousness lies Camus’s existential credo--“This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists....

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