The absurdity of suicide. Artist – Andrew Riley.

Andrew Riley. The Bunny Suicides.

What is the Absurd? It is, as may quite easily be seen, that I, a rational being, must act in a case where my reason, my powers of reflection, tell me: you can just as well do the one thing as the other, that is to say where my reason and reflection say: you cannot act and yet here is where I have to act… The Absurd, or to act by virtue of the absurd, is to act upon faith … I must act, but reflection has closed the road so I take one of the possibilities and say: This is what I do, I cannot do otherwise because I am brought to a standstill by my powers of reflection.

— Kierkegaard, Søren, Journals, 1849

Although the notion of the ‘absurd’ is pervasive in all of the literature of Albert CamusThe Myth of Sisyphus is his chief work on the subject. In it, Camus considers absurdity as a confrontation, an opposition, a conflict or a “divorce” between two ideals. Specifically, he defines the human condition as absurd, as the confrontation between man’s desire for significance, meaning and clarity on the one hand – and the silent, cold universe on the other. He continues that there are specific human experiences evoking notions of absurdity. Such a realization or encounter with the absurd leaves the individual with a choice: suicide, a leap of faith, or recognition. He concludes that recognition is the only defensible option – wikipedia

-Camus,Albert (1913-1960). Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. Vintage Books (1991).

Absurdity in a philosophical sense is a term raised through the thinking of Soren Kierkegaard and later Albert Camus. It refers to mans need to make sense of everything and the fact that it is entirely beyond mans resources to do so.

Camus suggested that suicide as a means of escape from the absurd was in itself absurd and also considers a leap of faith to be ‘philosophical suicide’. He rejects both and instead says we must embrace our absurd condition.

Andrew Riley is well known for his Bunny Suicides, he is also a comic scriptwriter for television having worked on Black books,Little Britain, Harry and Paul, Smack the Pony and many,many more comedies. He was also a stage Dancer for The Pod – pre Mighty Boosh comedy techno band with Julian Barret.


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