A Conversation for Sisyphus

More on Sisyphus

Post 1


On a more upbeat note, the existentialist philosopher Albert Camus identified Sisyphus as something of a role model for us all in his slim work 'The Myth of Sisyphus'.

The argument goes something like this: in the absence of a God, or some other grand narrative to provide us with some purpose in our lives (a key theme in existentialist philosophy) then all of us are in the same boat as Sisyphus, figuratively speaking. Just as Sisyphus was condemned to do nothing but roll his rock up and down that damn hill for eternity, so the rest of us sleep, work, eat, poo, love, betray, kill, cheat, suffer, play (and so forth) on and on and on until eventually we die. Noting all of this, Camus begins his book claiming that the central question in philosophy is why we don't all commit suicide and free ourselves right away.

The answer Camus comes to is that there is something heroic in simply continuing to live despite the undeniable tedium and shittiness - and in this we are all like Sisyphus, who is notorious in Greek mythology as being among the few mortals ever to cheat the gods. Sisyphus is also the only mortal ever to escape from Hades (until they caught him and brought him back again), showing that you might just accomplish something if only you rebel, even against the direst of fates. Rather that being a name synonymous with despair, Camus argues that we must imagine Sisyphus happy.

'Sisyphus' is also an excellent name for a pet snake.

More on Sisyphus

Post 2


I have acctualy read something along those lines somewhere (i forget where).
and i agree. life it's self is punishment enough (as any of us who has ever been hurt in some way or another will testify) But in the case of sysphus, i beleive he is happy. he spends the rest of eternity (how ever long that is) rolling a rock up a hill andhe never has to watch "baywatch nights", i agree lets all commit suicide. life is shit.
any yes Sisyphus is a good name for a snake, so is Bob. Bob the snake... i like it smiley - winkeye

More on Sisyphus

Post 3

Lucius Juan Pierre O'Flanagan

If Sisyphus and absurdism (the artistic and literary movement spawned by Camus) interest you,
I recommend the following works:

The Gap by Eugene Ionesco (France's premier absurdist)
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (the most famous absurdist work in history)
The Zoo Story and The American Dream by Edward Albee (America's great absurdist playwright)

Absurdism assumes that there IS no God, and that we ARE all like Sisyphus, but that it is not a happy
way to live one's life. And since there is no way to achieve a happy life, we should all just get used to
it and spend our waking hours drunk.

Incidentally, Absurdism is an offshoot of Existentialism, so a background in philosophers such as Sartre
will help the student of Absurdist thought.

By the way, I personally prefer Slitherry Dee (from an old Smothers Brothers routine) as a name for a

Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more