Brody, Ervin C.
April 1975
Modern Language Review;Apr1975, Vol. 70 Issue 2, p291
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
The article mentions that the central thought of Albert Camus is contained in his book "Le Mythe de Sisyphe" from which most of his later works develop. The main concern of this essay is nothing less than the meaning that, life actually has for most of the people today. The logic of Kirilov, the metaphysical hero of Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Possessed;" his groping for values to support man's revolt against God, his search for justice for man, his refusal to accept the arbitrariness of divine grace, and finally his confidence in man and man's future might have been the original impulse that led Camus to write "Le Mythe de Sisyphe." Camus was fascinated with the idea and character of Kirilov and came to regard him as the bearer of Dostoevsky's most significant message. Dostoevsky describes the essence of Kirilov's thought and its fatal execution in several episodes in "The Possessed." The engineer Kirilov returned to Russia after four years abroad where he had avoided people because of his concentration on a certain project. The certain project turns out to be a passionate search for the reason that people do not dare to commit suicide. Kirilov thinks that if there were no superstitions--fear of pain and terror of the other word--many would kill themselves, perhaps even everyone.


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