Linked inTwitter

Halcyon's 52:52:52 campaign on this site and on Twitter will start in mid 2020. It will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

A Mundane Comedy is Halcyon's new book. Extracts will appear on this site and on social media during late 2020. Please get in touch with any questions about the book or related Halcyon services.

Halcyon monitors change for more than 150 key elements of life.

See here for Halcyon's regular roundup of key developments concerning the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Welcome

On Albert Camus

Camus

 

I was first attracted by Camus, "prince of the absurd" when I was 16. Camus still fascinates me, now well beyond what would have been his 100th birthday, and 60 years after his premature death in a car crash in Burgundy (it's said that he was found with an unused train ticket in his pocket - he'd planned to go by rail to Paris to rejoin his wife and children, but had accepted at the last minute the offer of a lift from his publisher).

Unlike Sartre, who was more of a systematic philosopher, Camus preferred to be labelled only as a writer, since he was doubtful about the power of reason and preferred to focus on how one should live, especially whether one should be primarily "solitaire ou solidaire".

The great advocate of the former, isolated path is Meursault, anti-hero of L'Etranger (full text here), the first book I read for my French A Level course and one of the forces that launched me into adulthood. Meursault talks about the "benign indifference of the universe".

"The realisation that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning" quote shows Camus the absurdist. He argued that nothing has any meaning behind it. Life, the universe, and everything just happens to happen, so we humans have a hard time with this and create systems to bestow meaning on things. When we look at something without meaning and fail to give it one, we experience the feeling of the absurd. Camus argues that we must grasp this, and face the world as the meaningless void that it is. Indeed, in Le Mythe de Sisyphe, which I studied for my MA course at Edinburgh, Camus offered "suicide, religion or acceptance" as three possible responses to the Absurd: he chose acceptance.

Commentator Geoff Dyer said of Camus that he carried within him "an unconquerable summer" that still warms us today.

For more about Camus' life and work, I'd recommend Albert Camus and The Absurd and a BBC radion programme on L'Etranger.

 

 

Further reading:

 

Timelines
Signifiers
15 August 2020
Climate

 

Please see below recent climate-related change, including key developments regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 - Climate Action.

Imagine a ship that is sinking and needs all the available power to run the pumps to drain out the rising waters. The first class passengers refuse to cooperate because they feel hot and want to use the air-conditioner and other electrical appliances. The second-class passengers spend all their time trying to be upgraded to first-class status. The boat sinks and the passengers all drown. That is where the present approach to climate change is leading - Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard

 

See also:

Topics
Timelines
Spaces
Signifiers