the myth of sisyphus

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight.....If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practise the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this. Opinions differ as to why he became the futile labourer of the underworld. To begin with he is accused of a certain levity in regard the gods. He stole their secrets. Aegina the daughter of Aesopus was carried off by Jupiter. The father was shocked by that disappearance and complained to Sisyphus. He, who knew of the abduction, offered to tell about it on condition that Aesopus would give water to the citadel of Corinth. To the celestial thunderbolts he preferred the benediction of water....Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition; it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.

For me the Myth of Sisyphus marks the beginning of an idea.... It attempts to resolve the problem of suicide......without the aid of eternal values which, temporarily perhaps, are absent or contorted in contemporary life. The fundamental subject of the Myth of Sisyphus is this: it is legitimate and necessary to wonder whether life has a meaning; therefore it is legitimate to meet the problem of suicide face to face..... The answer, underlying and appearing through the paradoxes which cover it, is this: even if one does not believe in God, suicide is not legitimate....... The Myth of Sisyphus poses mortal problems, it sums itself up for me as a lucid invitation to live and to create, in the very midst of the desert.

Albert Camus.