Magdalena KOCH, Camus’ Attitude to Mythology and his Definition of Myths. > 63
Using a selection of Camus’ works, in this paper I will examine the writer’s conception of mythology and identify the motives behind his deep interest in myths. I shall name particular myths present in Camus’ texts in order to test the opinion that Camus may be the creator of modern mythology. Finally, I shall try to establish whether Camus’ use of myths has made them more accessible to twenty-first century readers.
We all know that myths are ancient stories invented in order to explain natural and historical events. Myths are accounts relating the age of heroes, the beginnings of the world and the adventures of ancient gods. First and foremost, they are the objects of people’s beliefs that influence the customs and lifestyle of a particular culture. This way of understanding myths suggests that they lose their strictly religious overtones. I am not mentioning that without reason, because Camus’ existentialism is an atheistic form of this philosophy. He focuses his interests on humanism, infinity, tragedy, pessimism and, of course, on the absurdity of human life. These modern myths are similar to ancient ones - they consist of fabulous elements embedded in contemporary realities. The difference is the origin of the story.
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