In certain situations, replying ‘nothing’ when asked what one is thinking about may be pretense in a man. Those who are loved are well aware of this. But if that reply is sincere, if it symbolizes that odd state of soul in which the void becomes eloquent, in which the chain of daily gestures is broken, in which the heart vainly seeks the link that will connect it again, then it is as it were the first sign of absurdity.
Extract from Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus (published in 1942), translated by Justin O’Brien in 1955. It is taken from “Chapter 1 – An Absurd Reasoning”.
“The Myth of Sisyphus” introduces the absurd through Sisyphus, a character taken from the Greek mythology, condemned to push a boulder over a mountain, let it roll down and push it up again; a meaningless task, an absurd task.