James Wood has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 2007. In 2009, he won the National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism. He was the chief literary critic at the Guardian from 1992 to 1995, and a book critic at the New Republic from 1995 to 2007. He has published a number of books with Cape, including How Fiction Works, which has been translated into thirteen languages.
Albert Camus (Author)
Albert Camus (1913-60) grew up in a working-class neighbourhood in Algiers. He studied philosophy at the University of Algiers, and became a journalist. His most important works include The Outsider, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Plague and The Fall. After the occupation of France by the Germans in 1941, Camus became one of the intellectual leaders of the Resistance movement. He was killed in a road accident, and his last unfinished novel, The First Man, appeared posthumously.
Justin O'Brien (Translator)
Justin O'Brien was the Blanche W. Knopf Professor of French Literature at Columbia University and renowed translator of Anre Gide and Albert Camus, both of whom were his intimate friends.
The summation of the existentialist philosophy threaded throughout all his writing, Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus is translated by Justin O'Brien with an introduction by James Wood in Penguin Classics.
In this profound and moving philosophical statement, Camus poses the fundamental question: is life worth living? If human existence holds no significance, what can keep us from suicide? As Camus argues, if there is no God to give meaning to our lives, humans must take on that purpose themselves. This is our 'absurd' task, like Sisyphus forever rolling his rock up a hill, as the inevitability of death constantly overshadows us. Written during the bleakest days of the Second World War, The Myth of Sisyphus (Le Mythe de Sisyphe) argues for an acceptance of reality that encompasses revolt, passion and, above all, liberty.
This volume contains several other essays, including lyrical evocations of the sunlit cities of Algiers and Oran, the settings of his great novels The Outsider and The Plague.
Albert Camus (1913-60) is the author of a number of best-selling and highly influential works, all of which are published by Penguin. They include The Fall, The Outsider and The First Man. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, Camus is remembered as one of the few writers to have shaped the intellectual climate of post-war France, but beyond that, his fame has been international.
If you enjoyed The Myth of Sisyphus, you might like Camus' The Outsider, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'Camus could never cease to be one of the principal forces in our domain, nor to represent, in his own way, the history of France and of this century'
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|Albert CamusJustin O'BrienJames Wood