For our final text in Grade 12, we are reading Camus’ The Outsider, a brilliantly depressing book to finish off 12 years of education. If you haven’t read it and you’re looking for something to make you feel like life is meaningless, then this is the book for you. Basically, Camus tackles the age-old question – What is the meaning of life? – from the philosophical standpoint of absurdism, meaning that his answer (unlike truly absurd Douglas Adams) is super depressing.
Or is it? As the G12s presented the context – Camus’ life, political/social events from when the story was written, and existentialist/absurdist philosophy – we started to realize that Camus’ whole point was that we should embrace the ridiculous nature of life and celebrate its absurdity. In embracing that it’s all meaningless, we find meaning. Super positive!
Uhhhh…or just enough philosophy to give you a headache. Ow.
Either way, if you see a G12 in the next few weeks and mention to them that it’s all meaningless, you’re sure to get a super teenage eye-roll, since they’re trying to find the meaning in Camus’ meaningless text for their very meaningful upcoming IB exams.
Isn’t literature fun?