The Myth of Sisyphus is proving to be heady stuff. I am glad to report that my younger self was prone to underline salient points and little more; I made a few comments on what I thought resonated with Satre, positions that Kant might have held, but that was all. Go me! I wish I could come across as so erudite in casual conversation.
Camus’ main thesis thus far is that the absurd arises from the profound disconnect that man experiences upon trying to reconcile his need for meaning with the ‘unreasonable silence’ of the world. Questions like ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ and ‘Why is their evil in the world?’ are the hammer strokes against the anvil of the world’s indifference, each blow giving rise to the leaping sparks of absurdity.
Kierkegaard may shout in warning: “If man had no eternal consciousness, if, at the bottom of everything, there were merely a wild, seething force producing everything, both large and trifling, in the storm of dark passions, if the bottomless void that nothing can fill underlay all things, what would life be but despair?” This cry is not likely to stop the absurd man. Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable. If in order to elude the anxious question: ‘What would life be?’ one must, like the donkey, feed on the roses of illusion, then the absurd mind, rather than resigning itself to falsehood, prefers to adopt fearlessly Kierkegaard’s reply: ‘despair’. Everything considered, a determined soul will always manage.
Thus far I have only read his preamble; I shall report back as things progress!