The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

A face that toils so close to the stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment f which he will never know the end. The hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks towards the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate.

If this myth is tragic, that is because the hero is conscious.

The workman of toady works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when is becomes conscious. Sisyphus, the proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his glory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.

It happens as well that the feeling of the absurd springs from happiness.

Likewise, the absurd ma, when he contemplates his torment, silences the idols.

At that subtle moment when mean glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that silent pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which becomes his fate, created by combined under his memory’s eye and soon sealed by his death.

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