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The Philosophy of Absurdism.  Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria on November 7, 1913.  Within a year of Camus’s birth, his father died in Europe.

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Presentation on theme: "The Philosophy of Absurdism.  Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria on November 7, 1913.  Within a year of Camus’s birth, his father died in Europe."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Philosophy of Absurdism

2  Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria on November 7,  Within a year of Camus’s birth, his father died in Europe fighting and he and his mother, who was impoverished and almost deaf, went to Algiers.  He went to college at the University of Algiers, but had to take leave due to a bout of tuberculosis.  He earned a degree in philosophy, and founded the Théâtre du Travail in Algiers, and financed himself through odd jobs like working for the Meteorological Institute, selling spare car parts, and private tutoring.  Camus joined the Communist party in  In 1940, Camus left Algiers and moved to Oran, where he married, but was “advised” to leave Algeria, having been declared a threat to national security when he expressed his views as a pacifist. Albert Camus

3  Camus then relocated to Metropolitan France and took up journalism during World War II to support the French Resistance, and took on the editorship of Combat, an important underground paper.  He was not comfortable with the moral indifference necessarily implied by philosophical absurdism, and his political history and experiences in occupied France led him to search for a way to address moral responsibility.  After the war, Camus gave up politics and journalism and devoted himself to writing, when he wrote The Stranger.  In 1949, Camus had a relapse of tuberculosis and locked himself in seclusion to write.  Camus also was an avid man of theatre, serving at various times as an actor, director, and playwright Albert Camus Continued

4 The Absurdist Theory  The Absurdist Theory is that humanity must live in a world that is and will forever be hostile or indifferent towards them.  It also states that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail because no such meaning exists, at least in relation to humanity.

5 What Did Albert Camus Think of Existentialism?  In Le Mythe de Sisyphe, Camus argues against the existential position, which he says is nothing less than "philosophical suicide”.  In an interview, he states that “No, I am not an existentialist… Sartre is an existentialist, and the only book of ideas that I have published, The Myth of Sisyphus, was directed against the so-called existentialist philosophers.”

6 Absurdism Broken Down…  A philosophy much more pessimistic than existentialism  There may be inherent meaning, but humans cannot access it  Absurdists believe that life is meaningless and don’t strive for meaning  One of the ways to escape a meaningless existence is suicide  If suicide is rejected, one goal is to accept the absurd and continue to live in spite of it, accepting there is no meaning to existence  Death is the only certainty

7 Art Relative to Absurdism “How to Fight Fire Beneath the Sea” “Lively as a walk on the moon”

8 “Killing an Arab” by The Cure Standing on the beach With a gun in my hand Staring at the sea Staring at the sand Staring down the barrel At the arab on the ground I can see his open mouth But I hear no sound I'm alive I'm dead I'm the stranger Killing an arab Directly Inspired by The Stranger

9 Music “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide (no escape from reality) Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see I'm just a poor boy, (poor boy) I need no sympathy Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low Any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me

10 Videos Dark Knight Hospital Scene “Introduce a Little Anarchy”

11 Next Wed & Thurs: In small groups of 2 or 3, you will research various examples of absurdism. Select one example that you can show to the class… a song with lyrics displayed, an absurd art piece, a movie or TV show clip, a sample of an absurdist poem/play/novel that you can project, etc. The goal is that you present a “visual” of your absurd example. Finally, you will clarify the absurdist qualities of your example. Explain how the example demonstrates absurdism, and connect this concept to a quote from Camus’ The Stranger. 25 point presentation; all group members receive one score Absurd Example Assignment


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