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Modernism, Existentialism, Absurdism

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L G

on 27 May 2011

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Transcript of Modernism, Existentialism, Absurdism

Thinkers:
Artists:
“Introduction to Modernism & Postmodernism”
by David L. White (WSCC Virtual Campus)

“The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus

Wikipedia
Existentialism
World Book 2007
post-WWII
French
intellectual movement
developed from earlier tenets
by philosopher-writer
Jean-Paul Sartre
attempt
to come to terms
with modern life
Life is
a series of decisions to be made …
right / wrong
true / false
what to do / what not to do
absolute
universal
objective
ideal
What we can only
know for sure:

We live
and then we die.
human condition
=
mortality
all up to us
With freedom to choose comes …
What if … ?
“condemned to be free”
existential dread
denial of responsibility
self-deception
inauthentic life
Accept responsibility.
denial of free will
responsibility for choices made.
come what may
Embrace your existence.
Absurdism
1942:
‘The Stranger’ (novel)
‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ (essay)
appreciation for life
life = decisions
> one path
Choice A or Choice B?
What will it mean?
Absurdist problem:
‘the absurd’
=
suicide
admission of defeat
problem unsolved
nihilist ≠
existentialist, absurdist
‘leap of faith’
relies on abstract experience
Problem solved?
No certainty.
Camus’ answer:
Embrace absurdity.
We decide
what our lives mean.
We define
We are free
We become
“Thus I draw from the absurd
three consequences,
which are …
“my revolt, …
“my freedom, …
“and my passion.”
gentoons.com
meaning is essential to decision-making
meaning
is essential to life
Solution?
not
attainable

what it’s like to be human
countless decisions
using subjective knowledge
in a limited time
standards, ethics,
laws,
traditions
apply or reject
Accept free will.
a world ultimately devoid of meaning
human need for meaning
mortality imperils meaning
concepts,
perceptions,
experiences
subjectively …
to create meaning …
to choose A or B …
the most precious
unit of existence
Modernism
Life is logical.
It can be understood by the rational mind.
art ≠ realism
=
authentic representations of human experience
life in 20th century
= illogical, incomprehensible
certain
Images from the ‘Heritage of the Great War’ website
But what if …?
What if …?
“One must imagine
Sisyphus happy.”
Full transcript