For my own reference, I'll simply be consolidating all the highlights I made from the book. I may make some commentary as needed.
"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."
He notes that he has seen too many people die because they judged that life is not worth living. The book is to help them dispel that idea.
"Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined."
"killing yourself amounts to confessing. It is confessing that life is too much for you or that you do not understand it"
"A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and this life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity."
"it often happens that those who commit suicide were assured of the meaning of life."
"We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking."
"Hope of another life one must 'deserve' or trickery of those who live not for life itself but for some great idea that will transcend it, refine it, give it a meaning, and betray it."
"It is always easy to be logical. It is almost impossible to be logical to the bitter end."
"The climate of absurdity is in the beginning. The end is the absurd universe and that attitude of mind which lights the world with its true colors to bring out the privileged and implacable visage which that attitude has discerned in it."
"It happens that the stage sets collapse. Rising, streetcar, four hours in the office or the factory, meal, streetcar, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm—this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day the “why” arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement. “Begins”—this is important. Weariness comes at the end of the acts of a mechanical life, but at the same time it inaugurates the impulse of consciousness. It awakens consciousness and provokes what follows. What follows is the gradual return into the chain or it is the definitive awakening. At the end of the awakening comes, in time, the consequence: suicide or recovery. In itself weariness has something sickening about it. Here, I must conclude that it is good. For everything begins with consciousness and nothing is worth anything except through it."
"At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of these trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we had clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise."
"Just as there are days when under the familial face of a woman, we see as a stranger her we had loved months or years ago, perhaps we shall come even to desire what suddenly leaves us so alone."
"This discomfort in the face of man’s own inhumanity, this incalculable tumble before the image of what we are, this “nausea,” as a writer of today calls it, is also the absurd."
"The mind’s first step is to distinguish what is true from what is false."
"Understanding the world for a man is reducing it to the human, stamping it with his seal."
"If man realized that the universe like him can love and suffer, he would be reconciled."
"That nostalgia for unity, that appetite for the absolute illustrates the essential impulse of the human drama."
"It is essential to consider as a constant point of reference in this essay the regular hiatus between what we fancy we know and what we really know, practical assent and simulated ignorance which allows us to live with ideas which, if we truly put them to the test, ought to upset our whole life."
This is a very important point Camus makes and one which is not made explicit in day-to-day conversations. It is a point not explicitly made, but strongly implied when talking philosophy. What we know is very little. Much of the rest is conjecture. Just the other evening, I was talking with my sister about the period of time in history between John Wycliff (d. 1384) and the Münster rebellion (~1535). In that 150 year period alone there was horrible violence all because of a few philosophical ideas on God and church. Millions (perhaps billions?) have died for ideas which can be categorized as "simulated ignorance."
Camus goes on to say, "So long as the mind keeps silent in the motionless world of its hopes, everything is reflected and arranged in the unity of its nostalgia. But with its first move this world cracks and tumbles: an infinite number of shimmering fragments is offered to the understanding. We must despair of ever reconstructing the familiar, calm surface which would give us peace of heart."
I think that the yearning - the nostalgia - for certainty is what people cling to and over which they start wars and bloodshed. In searching for the familiar, simulated ignorance which they think gives them a 'calm surface' and 'peace of heart' they find uncertainty ... when they have that realization, it disrupts their world and in some cases, violence ensues and for some, suicide.
"If the only significant history of human thought were to be written, it would have to be the history of its successive regrets and its impotences."
"Of whom and of what indeed can I say: “I know that!” This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction. For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers."
"This very heart which is mine will forever remain indefinable to me. Between the certainty I have of my existence and the content I try to give to that assurance, the gap will never be filled."
"Socrates’ ”Know thyself” has as much value as the “Be virtuous” of our confessionals. They reveal a nostalgia at the same time as an ignorance. They are sterile exercises on great subjects. They are legitimate only in precisely so far as they are approximate."
"You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know. Have I the time to become indignant? You have already changed theories. So that science that was to teach me everything ends up in a hypothesis, that lucidity founders in metaphor, that uncertainty is resolved in a work of art. What need had I of so many efforts?"
a good definition of the absurd: "A stranger to myself and to the world, armed solely with a thought that negates itself as soon as it asserts, what is this condition in which I can have peace only by refusing to know and to live, in which the appetite for conquest bumps into walls that defy its assaults? To will is to stir up paradoxes. Everything is ordered in such a way as to bring into being that poisoned peace produced by thoughtlessness, lack of heart, or fatal renunciations."
"despite so many pretentious centuries and over the heads of so many eloquent and persuasive men, I know that is false. On this plane, at least, there is no happiness if I cannot know. That universal reason,
practical or ethical, that determinism, those categories that explain everything are enough to make a decent man laugh. They have nothing to do with the mind. They negate its profound truth, which is to be enchained. In this unintelligible and limited universe, man’s fate henceforth assumes its meaning."
"what is absurd is the confrontation of this irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart."
"On the plane of history, such a constancy of two attitudes illustrates the essential passion of man torn between his urge toward unity and the clear vision he may have of the walls enclosing him."
"Chestov, for his part, throughout a wonderfully monotonous work, constantly straining toward the same truths, tirelessly demonstrates that the tightest system, the most universal rationalism always stumbles eventually on the irrational of human thought."
"Of all perhaps the most engaging, Kierkegaard, for a part of his existence at least, does more than discover the absurd, he lives it. The man who writes: “The surest of stubborn silences is not to hold one’s tongue but to talk” makes sure in the beginning that no truth is absolute or can render satisfactory an existence that is impossible in itself."
"Thinking is learning all over again to see, to be attentive, to focus consciousness; it is turning every idea and every image, in the manner of Proust, into a privileged moment."
"I want everything to be explained to me or nothing."
"The world itself, whose single meaning I do not understand, is but a vast irrational. If one could only say just once: “This is clear,” all would be saved. But these men vie with one another in proclaiming that nothing is clear, all is chaos, that all man has is his lucidity and his definite knowledge of the walls surrounding him. All these experiences agree and confirm one another. The mind, when it reaches its limits, must make a judgment and choose its conclusions."
"Absurd is not in man (if such a metaphor could have a meaning) nor in the world, but in their presence together. For the moment it is the only bond uniting them. If wish to limit myself to facts, I know what man wants, I know what the world offers him, and now I can say that I also know what links them."
"A man who has become conscious of the absurd is forever bound to it."
"'the unthinkable unity of the general and the particular.' Thus the absurd becomes god (in the broadest meaning of this word) and that inability to understand becomes the existence that illuminates everything. Nothing logically prepares this reasoning. I can call it a leap."
"'The only true solution,' [Chestov] said, 'is precisely where human judgment sees no solution. Otherwise, what need would we have of God? We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible. As for the possible, men suffice.'"
"Chestov discovers the fundamental absurdity of all existence, he does not say: “This is the absurd,” but rather: “This is God: we must rely on him even if he does not correspond to any of our rational categories.” So that confusion may not be possible, the Russian philosopher even hints that this God is perhaps full of hatred and hateful, incomprehensible and contradictory; but the more hideous is his face, the more he asserts his power. His greatness is his incoherence. His proof is his inhumanity. One must spring into him and by this leap free oneself from rational illusions. Thus, for Chestov acceptance of the absurd is contemporaneous with the absurd itself."
"the absurd is the contrary of hope."
"The moment the notion transforms itself into eternity’s springboard, it ceases to be linked to human lucidity."
"This leap is an escape."
"The intoxication of the irrational and the vocation of rapture turn a lucid mind away from the absurd. To Chestov reason is useless but there is something beyond reason. To an absurd mind reason is useless and there is nothing beyond reason. This leap can at least enlighten us a little more as to the true
nature of the absurd."
"The absurd man, on the other hand, does not undertake such a leveling process. He recognizes the struggle, does not absolutely scorn reason, and admits the irrational. Thus he again embraces in a single glance all the data of experience and he is little inclined to leap before knowing. He knows simply that in that alert awareness there is no further place for hope."
"Kierkegaard likewise takes the leap. His childhood having been so frightened by Christianity, he ultimately returns to its harshest aspect ... Christianity is the scandal and what Kierkegaard calls for quite plainly is the third sacrifice required by Ignatius Loyola, the one in which God most rejoices: “The sacrifice of the intellect.” ... “In his failure,” says Kierkegaard, “the believer finds his triumph.”
"through a strained subterfuge, he gives the irrational the appearance and God the attributes of the absurd: unjust, incoherent, and incomprehensible."
"I want to know whether I can live with what I know and with that alone"
"The absurd, which is the metaphysical state of the conscious man, does not lead to God. Perhaps this notion will become clearer if I risk this shocking statement: the absurd is sin without God."
"god is maintained only through the negation of human reason. But, like suicides, gods change with men. There are many ways of leaping, the essential being to leap. Those redeeming negations, those ultimate contradictions which negate the obstacle that has not yet been leaped over."
another key quote which defines absurdism: "In fact, our aim is to shed light upon the step taken by the mind when, starting from a philosophy of the world’s lack of meaning, it ends up by finding a meaning and depth in it." ... "Thinking is learning all over again how to see ... the act of attention"
"Reason and the irrational lead to the same preaching. In truth the way matters but little; the will to arrive suffices. The abstract philosopher and the religious philosopher start out from the same disorder and support each other in the same anxiety. ... It is constantly oscillating between extreme rationalization of reality which tends to break up that thought into standard reasons and its extreme irrationalization which tends to deify it."
"Just as reason was able to soothe the melancholy of Plotinus, it provides modern anguish the means of calming itself in the familiar setting of the eternal. The absurd mind has less luck. For it the world is neither so rational nor so irrational. It is unreasonable and only that. ... The absurd is lucid reason noting its limit."
"Sin is not so much knowing (if it were, everybody would be innocent) as wanting to know. Indeed, it
is the only sin of which the absurd man can feel that it constitutes both his guilt and his innocence."
"It is that divorce between the mind that desires and the world that disappoints, my nostalgia for unity,
this fragmented universe and the contradiction that binds them together."
"Is one going to die, escape by the leap, rebuild a mansion of ideas and forms to one’s own scale? Is
one, on the contrary, going to take up the heart-rending and marvelous wager of the absurd?"
"At a certain point on his path the absurd man is tempted. History is not lacking in either religions or prophets, even without gods. He is asked to leap. All he can reply is that he doesn’t fully understand,
that it is not obvious."
"It was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear, on the contrary, that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning. Living an experience, a particular fate, is accepting it fully."
"The theme of permanent revolution is thus carried into individual experience. Living is keeping the absurd alive. Keeping it alive is, above all, contemplating it."
"One of the only coherent philosophical positions is thus revolt. It is a constant confrontation between man and his own obscurity. It is an insistence upon an impossible transparency. It challenges the world
anew every second. Just as danger provided man the unique opportunity of seizing awareness, so metaphysical revolt extends awareness to the whole of experience. It is that constant presence
of man in his own eyes. It is not aspiration, for it is devoid of hope. That revolt is the certainly of a crushing fate, without the resignation that ought to accompany it."
"Suicide, like the leap, is acceptance at its extreme. Everything is over and man returns to his essential history. His future, his unique and dreadful future—he sees and rushes toward it. In its way, suicide settles the absurd. It engulfs the absurd in the same death. But I know that in order to keep alive, the absurd cannot be settled. It escapes suicide to the extent that it is simultaneously awareness and rejection of death. ... That revolt gives life its value."
"Consciousness and revolt, these rejections are the contrary of renunciation. Everything that is indomitable and passionate in a human heart quickens them, on the contrary, with its own life. It is essential to die unreconciled and not of one’s own free will. Suicide is a repudiation. The absurd man can only drain everything to the bitter end, and deplete himself. The absurd is his extreme tension, which he maintains constantly by solitary effort, for he knows that in that consciousness and in that day-to-day revolt he gives proof of his only truth, which is defiance. This is a first consequence."
"either we are not free and God the all-powerful is responsible for evil. Or we are free and responsible but God is not all powerful."
"The only conception of freedom I can have is that of the prisoner or the individual in the midst of the State. The only one I know is freedom of thought and action. Now if the absurd cancels all my chances of eternal freedom, it restores and magnifies, on the other hand, my freedom of action. That privation of hope and future means an increase in man’s availability."
"Thinking of the future, establishing aims for oneself, having preferences—all this presupposes a belief in freedom, even if one occasionally ascertains that one doesn’t feel it. But at that moment I am well aware that that higher liberty, that freedom to be, which alone can serve as basis for a truth, does not exist. Death is there as the only reality."
"The absurd enlightens me on this point: there is no future. Henceforth this is the reason for my inner freedom."
"The absurd man thus catches sight of a burning and frigid, transparent and limited universe in which nothing is possible but everything is given, and beyond which all is collapse and nothingness. He can then decide to accept such a universe and draw from it his strength, his refusal to hope, and the unyielding evidence of a life without consolation."
"But what does life mean in such a universe? Nothing else for the moment but indifference to the future and a desire to use up everything that is given. Belief in the meaning of life always implies a scale of values, a choice, our preferences. Belief in the absurd, according to our definitions, teaches the contrary. ... Knowing whether or not one can live without appeal is all that interests me."
"belief in the absurd is tantamount to substituting the quantity of experiences for the quality. If I convince myself that this life has no other aspect than that of the absurd, if I feel that its whole equilibrium depends on that perpetual opposition between my conscious revolt and the darkness in which it struggles, if I admit that my freedom has no meaning except in relation to its limited fate, then I must say that what counts is not the best living but the most living. It is not up to me to wonder if this is vulgar or revolting, elegant or deplorable. Once and for all, value judgments are discarded here in favor of factual judgments."
"The most living ... quantity and variety of experiences ... there must also be taken into consideration the individual’s spontaneous contribution, the “given” element in him ... on the one hand the absurd teaches that all experiences are unimportant, and on the other it urges toward the greatest quantity of experiences. How, then, can one fail to do as so many of those men I was speaking of earlier—choose the form of life that brings us the most possible of that human matter ... Being aware of one’s life, one’s revolt, one’s freedom, and to the maximum, is living, and to the maximum ... The absurd and the extra life it involves therefore do not defend on man’s will, but on its contrary, which is death. Weighing words carefully, it is altogether a question of luck. ... The present and the succession of presents before a constantly conscious soul is the ideal of the absurd man."
"Thus I draw from the absurd three consequences, which are my revolt, my freedom, and my passion. By the mere activity of consciousness I transform into a rule of life what was an invitation to death—and I refuse suicide."
"For the spectator, if he is conscious, that leap is still absurd. ... the point is to live."
"What, in fact, is the absurd man? He who, without negating it, does nothing for the eternal. Not that nostalgia is foreign to him. But he prefers his courage and his reasoning. The first teaches him to live without appeal and to get along with what he has; the second informs him of his limits. Assured of his
temporally limited freedom, of his revolt devoid of future, and of his mortal consciousness, he lives out his adventure within the span of his lifetime. That is his field, that is his action, which he shields from any judgment but his own. A greater life cannot mean for him another life."
"There is but one moral code that the absurd man can accept, the one that is not separated from God: the one that is dictated. ... “Everything is permitted,” exclaims Ivan Karamazov. That, too, smacks of the absurd. But on condition that it not be taken in the vulgar sense."
He then paints a picture of various absurd characters who embody the philosophy.
"There is no noble love but that which recognizes itself to be both short-lived and exceptional."
Drama (the actor)
"The everyday man does not enjoy tarrying. Everything, on the contrary, hurries him onward. But at the same time nothing interests him more than himself, especially his potentialities. Whence his interest
in the theater, in the show, where so many fates are offered him, where he can accept the poetry without feeling the sorrow."
"Choosing between heaven and a ridiculous fidelity, preferring oneself to eternity or losing oneself in God is the age-old tragedy in which each must play his part."
Conquest (the conqueror)
"Conscious that I cannot stand aloof from my time, I have decided to be an integral part of it. This is why I esteem the individual only because he strikes me as ridiculous and humiliated. Knowing that there are no victorious causes, I have a liking for lost causes: they require an uncontaminated soul, equal to its defeat as to its temporary victories."
"deprived of the eternal, I want to ally myself with time."
"Conquerors know that action is in itself useless ... I have chosen this absurd and ineffectual effort. This is why I am on the side of the struggle."
"Victory would be desirable. But there is but one victory, and it is eternal. That is the one I shall
"Conquerors sometimes talk of vanquishing and overcoming. But it is always ‘overcoming oneself’ that they mean."
in sum of the characters ... "Let me repeat that these images do not propose moral codes and involve no judgments: they are sketches. They merely represent a style of life. The lover, the actor, or the adventurer plays the absurd. But equally well, if he wishes, the chaste man, the civil servant, or the president of the Republic."
"Being deprived of hope is not despairing. ... They are not striving to be better; they are attempting to be consistent."
"The imagination can add many others, inseparable from time and exile, who likewise know how to live in harmony with a universe without future and without weakness. This absurd, godless world is, then, peopled with men who think clearly and have ceased to hope. And I have not yet spoken of the most absurd character, who is the creator."
"War cannot be negated. One must live it or die of it." This quote reminds me of Heraclitus, war is the father of all.
"Creation is the great mime."
"Even men without a gospel have their Mount of Olives. And one must not fall asleep on theirs either. For the absurd man it is not a matter of explaining and solving, but of experiencing and describing. Everything begins with lucid indifference."
"The philosopher, even if he is Kant, is a creator."
"Today when thought has ceased to lay claim to the universal, when its best history would be that of its repentances, we know that the system, when it is worth while, cannot be separated from its author. The Ethics itself, in one of its aspects, is but a long and reasoned personal confession." This is his way of saying one must embody their philosophy.
"I want to know whether, accepting a life without appeal, one can also agree to work and create without appeal and what is the way leading to these liberties. I want to liberate my universe of its phantoms and
to people it solely with flesh-and-blood truths whose presence I cannot deny. I can perform absurd work, choose the creative attitude rather than another. But an absurd attitude, if it is to remain so, must remain aware of its gratuitousness. So it is with the work of art. If the commandments of the absurd are not respected, if the work does not illustrate divorce and revolt, if it sacrifices to illusions and arouses hope, it ceases to be gratuitous."
"What holds for creation, looked upon as one of the possible attitudes for the man conscious of the absurd, holds for all the styles of life open to him. The conqueror or the actor, the creator or Don Juan may forget that their exercise in living could not do without awareness of its mad character."
"There is so much stubborn hope in the human heart. The most destitute men often end up by accepting illusion. That approval prompted by the need for peace inwardly parallels the existential consent."
"What distinguishes modern sensibility from classical sensibility is that the latter thrives on moral problems and the former on metaphysical problems. In Dostoevsky’s novels the question is propounded with such intensity that it can only invite extreme solutions. Existence is illusory or it is eternal."
"Convinced that human existence is an utter absurdity for anyone without faith in immortality, the
desperate man comes to the following conclusions:
“Since in reply to my questions about happiness, I am told, through the intermediary of my consciousness, that I cannot be happy except in harmony with the great all, which I cannot conceive and shall never be in a position to conceive, it is evident...”
“Since, finally, in this connection, I assume both the role of the plaintiff and that of the defendant, of the accused and of the judge, and since I consider this comedy perpetrated by nature altogether stupid, and since I even deem it humiliating for me to deign to play it ...”
“In my indisputable capacity of plaintiff and defendant, of judge and accused, I condemn that nature which, with such impudent nerve, brought me into being in order to suffer—I condemn it to be annihilated with me.”
"There remains a little humor in that position. This suicide kills himself because, on the metaphysical plane, he is vexed. In a certain sense he is taking his revenge. This is his way of proving that he “will not be had."
"“I shall kill myself in order to assert my insubordination, my new and dreadful liberty.” It is no longer a question of revenge, but of revolt. Kirilov is consequently an absurd character—yet with this essential reservation: he kills himself. ... he wants to kill himself to become god. ... “If God does not exist, I am god,"
"Kirilov in fact fancies for a moment that Jesus at his death did not find himself in Paradise. He found out then that his torture had been useless. “The laws of nature,” says the engineer, “made Christ live in the midst of falsehood and die for a falsehood.”" ... He is the complete man, being the one who realized the most absurd condition. He is not the God-man but the man-god. And, like him, each of us can be crucified and victimized—and is to a certain degree."
"If God exists, all depends on him and we can do nothing against his will. If he does not exist, everything depends on us."
"Kirilov must kill himself out of love for humanity ... it is not despair that urges him to death, but love of his neighbor."
"Kirilov’s pistol rang out somewhere in Russia, but the world continued to cherish its blind hopes."
"Consequently, it is not an absurd novelist addressing us, but an existential novelist. Here, too, the leap is touching and gives its nobility to the art that inspires it. It is a stirring acquiescence, riddled with doubts, uncertain and ardent. Speaking of The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky wrote: “The chief question that will be pursued throughout this book is the very one from which I have suffered consciously or unconsciously all life long: the existence of God."
"It is not an absurd work that is involved here, but a work that propounds the absurd problem."
"what contradicts the absurd in that work is not its Christian character, but rather its announcing a future life. It is possible to be Christian and absurd."
"The surprising reply of the creator to his characters, of Dostoevsky to Kirilov, can indeed be summed up thus: existence is illusory and it is eternal."
"To work and create “for nothing,” to sculpture in clay, to know that one’s creation has no future, to see one’s work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries—this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions."
"At the moment of death, the succession of his works is but a collection of failures. But if those failures all have the same resonance, the creator has managed to repeat the image of his own condition, to make the air echo with the sterile secret he possesses."
"human will had no other purpose than to maintain awareness. But that could not do without discipline. Of all the schools of patience and lucidity, creation is the most effective. It is also the staggering evidence of man’s sole dignity: the dogged revolt against his condition, perseverance in an effort considered sterile. It calls for a daily effort, self-mastery, a precise estimate of the limits of truth, measure, and strength. It constitutes an ascesis. All that “for nothing,” in order to repeat and mark time."
"Thus, I ask of absurd creation what I required from thought— revolt, freedom, and diversity. Later on it will manifest its utter futility. In that daily effort in which intelligence and passion mingle and delight each other, the absurd man discovers a discipline that will make up the greatest of his strengths."
"The final effort for these related minds, creator or conqueror, is to manage to free themselves also from their undertakings: succeed in granting that the very work, whether it be conquest, love, or creation, may well not be; consummate thus the utter futility of any individual life."
The Myth of Sisyphus
"The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor."
"You have already grasped that Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is, as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing."
"Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward that lower world whence he
will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain. It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me."
"If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious."
"The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn."
"Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth."
"the absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols."
"The absurd man says yes and his effort will henceforth be unceasing."
"I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."