One cannot speak any longer of being. One can only speak of what is in front of him … the mess.”

—Beckett to Tom Driver, 1961
In one of his most memorable and often-quoted passages, Camus says, “If I were a tree among trees, a cat among cats, this terrible longing to understand would not obsess me. I should, like the others in the natural world, be unaware of my separation from everything else in the universe. I should not suffer over my most profound wish to understand the meaning of life and more specifically of my life” (The Myth of Sisyphus, and Other Essays, trans. Justin O'Brien [New York: Vintage Press, 1961], 38). Camus associates his estrangement in the universe with his accursed reason, which torments him with the growing gap that exists between the need to comprehend the meaning of life and the failure of reason...

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