Labyrinths of reality

Absurdist fiction and absurdist philosophy

What is reality? And who are we, the people populating it? Both fiction and philosophy are engaged in unraveling this questions, and their answers uncover the absurd nature of our existence, writes Joanna Kavenna. 

Albert Camus wrote: 'A novel is never anything but a philosophy expressed in images. And in a good novel the philosophy has disappeared into the images.’ As soon as you create a character you ask philosophical questions about the nature of the self; as soon as you create a world you ask philosophical questions about the nature of reality.

In an absurdist novel, as in an absurdist philosophical argument, the universe is fundamentally meaningless and any attempt to find a sane and coherent interpretation of events is doomed by the insane and incoherent nature of reality.

In a sense, all fiction is quite absurd, because it is concerned with the inner lives of unreal peopl

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Geo Hough 7 September 2020

My impression of this article was “what a bunch of hogswallop! My reality has changed recently? I don’t think so! The fact that I shouldn’t party like it’s 1999 doesn’t meet my definition of an alternate reality. I freely admit to not being a philosophy acolyte, and accept that the author may have expressed transcendent truths of a higher order. But from down here on the ground, it looks like plain old BS.