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The Myth of Sisyphus

The Myth of Sisyphus is an essay by Albert Camus published originally in French in 1942 as Le Mythe de Sisyphe and published in English in 1955 as The Myth of Sisyphus. The essay was based on a story from Greek mythology. In the essay, Camus explores the philosophical meaning behind the myth, with particular emphasis on his philosophy of the absurd[?].

Sisyphus was a character in Greek mythology who upset the gods. As a punishment he was sentenced to be blinded and in perpetuity roll a giant boulder up a mountain to the peak, only to see it inevitably roll back down the mountain into the valley.

Camus in his essay has Sisyphus experiencing freedom for the one brief moment when he has stopped pushing the boulder before he has to start back down the mountain again. Camus felt that at that point Sisyphus, even though blind, knew that the view of the landscape was there, and must have found this uplifting.

Camus presented Sisyphus' ceaseless and pointless toil as a metaphor for modern lives spent working at futile jobs in factories and offices. Some people find this metaphor comforting, since it makes them feel they are not alone, and indeed can draw a parallel between their life and that of a character from the dawn of time.



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