The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus

 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 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. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect.

Dipping into this as an aside to my current bedside read Nine Lives and that the Jains are in the news this week. So many high star results, so few words. Is that because no-one wishes to contemplate death?

I was peeved to see there was little to console the half dead – those in coma, probable death by cancer, alzheimer’s etc.

For such a short entry, this should occupy the thinking person’s mind for all lifespan. Nothing is inconsequential here.

* Peregrinus Proteus (Greek: Περεγρινος Πρωτεύς Peregrinos Proteus; c. 95 – 165 AD) was a Greek Cynic philosopher, from Parium in Mysia. Leaving home at a young age, he first lived with the Christians in Palestine, before eventually being expelled from that community and adopting the life of a Cynic philosopher and eventually settling in Greece. He is most remembered for committing suicide by giving his own funeral oration and cremating himself on a funeral pyre at the Olympic Games in 165. wiki sourced

– An Absurd Reasoning
– The Absurd Man
– Absurd Creation
– The Myth of Sisyphus
– Appendix: Hope And The Absurd In The Work Of Franz Kafka
– Summer in Algiers: Opening: The loves we share with a city are often secret loves. Old walled towns like Paris, Prague, and even Florence are closed in on themselves and hence limit the world that belongs to them. But Algiers (together with certain other privileged places such as cities on the sea) opens to the sky like a mouth or a wound. In Algiers one loves the commonplaces: the sea at the end of every street, a certain volume of sunlight, the beauty of the race. And, as always, in that unashamed offering there is a secret fragrance. In Paris it is possible to be homesick for space and a beating of wings. Here at least man is gratified in every wish and, sure of his desires, can at last measure his possessions.
– Helen’s Exile


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