In his discussion of absurd art, Camus recommends that writers confine themselves to description, and not attempt to explain the world. Explanation is an attempt to impose some order on experience, to make sense of the world, and thus tries to go beyond a mere acceptance and awareness of the unreasonableness of the universe. Rather than try to explain why the world is the way it is, an absurd artist should just give as full a description of the world as he sees it. Camus says that artists should use images to fill out their worldview. His own fiction is full of rich imagery: his most famous novels are unforgettably set in the hot, dry landscape of Algeria. The Myth of Sisyphus is also rich in images. Camus is not saying that art should faithfully copy the world as it is, but rather that artists should use their art to reflect their unique perspective on the world. Any attempt to say "this is life" is bound to fail, and artists should rest content to say "this is life as I see it."

It would seem that Camus is violating his own principles in the very essay in which he sets them out. His style is exactly what he recommends for fiction, but The Myth of Sisyphus is not fiction. Moreover, though it conveys thoughts in an artistic way, The Myth of Sisyphus is also an attempt at explanation, at saying, "this is life." A possible line of defense might suggest that The Myth of Sisyphus is indeed a violation of the principles it sets out, but that it is a necessary violation. If Camus were not to attempt to explain his absurd philosophy we would not recognize that such an explanation generally is misguided. Wittgenstein follows a similar line of reasoning in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, where, at the end, he asserts that his propositions are nonsense, but that only by reading these propositions can we come to recognize them as nonsense and "see the world aright." Unlike Wittgenstein, however, Camus does not seem aware that his work might contradict itself in this way, and makes no effort to extract himself from this difficulty.

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