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Absurdism 101: Albert Camus' Philosophy

Albert Camus is one of the fathers of Absurdist philosophy and one of the greatest writers of all time; his philosophical works The Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel have defined his ideas, while his novels such as The Stranger and The Plague have actualized them. Examine and breakdown the fundamentals of absurdism.

  • I get the desire to discuss Camus (as he's one of my favourite writers as well), but this retrospective of his life and works doesn't seem overly suitable to the here and now. I could maybe understand it if he had died recently - you may have noticed that one of our fellow contributors did so when Elie Wiesel passed, but the article has been pending for so long that it'll be hardly still relevant by the time its published, and Wiesel died 56 years AFTER Camus - but I cannot imagine anything in this article that could not be found in his many biographies or critical studies of his work. I'm not rejecting this, but I won't approve it either. – ProtoCanon 5 years ago
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  • Could Campus work be linked to a more current theme in media? I will leave it up to you Camus experts to make a more relevant link. – Munjeera 5 years ago
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  • What might be interesting is to compare Sartre with Camus.Many had mistakenly grouped Camus as an existentialist, most consistently, with the ideological thogouht processes of Sartre. Ironically, they were very good friends, but due to their ideological differences--Sartre is an existentialist--they ended up having an epic feud that ended their friendship. In a bittersweet form of a forgiveness, Sartre wrote a tribute to Camus after his death. – danielle577 5 years ago
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  • The challenge here, with such a broad topic, is to write it succinctly, but I agree with TKing that it's relevant today. – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • The issue isn't that it's not "relevant" -- I only brought up relevance because it was a facet of why this topic struck me as unsuitable for the Artifice -- but rather that scores of books have been written on precisely this topic. Even to narrow the subject matter to something more succinct would just be to focus on one chapter of those many books. For example's sake, Danielle's suggestion to compare Sartre and Camus, in addition to being something that is thoroughly discussed in every biography of either of them, is already the subject of a fantastic book (Camus & Satre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It, by Ronald Aronson) from 2004, which has subsequently been followed by a whole slew of other articles (http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/camus-and-sartre-friendship-troubled-by-ideological-feud-a-931969.html, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-j-stone/albert-vs-jeanpaul-why-ca_b_7699530.html, etc) and even another book (The Boxer and the Goal Keeper: Sartre Versus Camus, by Andy Martin). My response to anyone who chooses to write this article is this: "Why should I read this article when I can just read the book (which, let's be honest, is undoubtedly better written and more thoroughly research)? What can you add that hasn't been stated already?" I really don't see the point in regurgitating other peoples' research, simply because it has yet to be done on this specific online platform. We should be striving for originality, critical thought, and sparking debate via new contributions (to topics old and new alike). – ProtoCanon 5 years ago
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  • True, protocannon, it's been done, but has it been exhausted? I trust your judgment on that, but won't squelch someone's attempt to find a "new wrinkle." – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • I'd argue that it's been exhausted beyond the point to which it merit's Artifice-level discussion. Maybe a "new wrinkle" can be found, to the extent that discovering previously unstudied letters or dairies of Camus would warrant writing a new or revised biography, but if such a discovery were made, it would belong in a genuine academic journal. And there are no lack of those to which it would appropriately correspond, most centrally in The Journal of Camus Studies (http://www.camus-society.com/camus-society-journal.html), or more broadly in relevant philosophically-leaning periodicals like PhaenEx (http://phaenex.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/phaenex), The Reed (http://pages.stolaf.edu/thereed/), or Existential Analysis (http://existentialanalysis.org.uk/journal/) to French literary and cultural journals like French Cultural Studies (http://frc.sagepub.com/) or the Journal of French Language Studies (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=JFL). As much as we love the Artifice, it's not really the best platform for great strides in research; it's better suited for discussing why the time loop ended in Groundhog Day. – ProtoCanon 5 years ago
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  • Makes sense. Thanks for your insight, ProtoCanon.. – Tigey 5 years ago
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