The Myth of Sisyphus

by

Albert Camus

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Fyodor Dostoevsky Character Analysis

Dostoevsky is a 19th Century Russian novelist, frequently cited as one of the greatest writers ever to have existed. Camus praises his ability to bring the absurd to life (in his novels) and show how people grapple with the very real problems brought about by knowledge of the absurd. In his own life Dostoevsky ultimately turned away from the absurd by embracing Christianity, which Camus sees an invalid response to the absurd.

Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes in The Myth of Sisyphus

The The Myth of Sisyphus quotes below are all either spoken by Fyodor Dostoevsky or refer to Fyodor Dostoevsky. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Myth of Sisyphus published in 1991.
10. Kirilov Quotes

All of Dostoevsky’s heroes question themselves as to the meaning of life. In this they are modern: they do not fear ridicule. What distinguishes modern sensibility from classical sensibility is that the latter thrives on moral problems and the former on metaphysical problems. In Dostoevsky’s novels the question is propounded with such intensity that it can only invite extreme solutions. Existence is illusory or it is eternal. If Dostoevsky were satisfied with this inquiry, he would be a philosopher. But he illustrates the consequences that such intellectual pastimes may have in a man’s life, and in this regard he is an artist.

Related Characters: Albert Camus (speaker), Kirilov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
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Fyodor Dostoevsky Character Timeline in The Myth of Sisyphus

The timeline below shows where the character Fyodor Dostoevsky appears in The Myth of Sisyphus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
9. Absurd Creation: Philosophy and Fiction
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
...too. The novelist is a kind of world-builder. The best novelists, like Balzac, Sade, Melville, Dostoevsky and Kafka, are distinctly “philosophical novelists.” (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
...their work. Camus resolves to investigate “a favourite theme” from the work of Russian novelist, Dostoevsky, which “denotes awareness of the absurd.” (full context)
10. Absurd Creation: Kirilov
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
In Dostoevsky’s novels, Camus detects evidence of an absurd sensibility. The Russian author’s books argue that “existence... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
Camus examines one particular character from one of Dostoevsky’s novels, The Possessed. This man, Kirilov, feels that in order for existence to make sense,... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
Camus supposes that “probably no one so much as Dostoevsky has managed to give the absurd world such familiar and tormenting charms,” and that he... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
Camus concludes that Dostoevsky is more of an “existential novelist” than an absurd one. But the Russian novelist shows... (full context)
11. Absurd Creation: Ephemeral Creation
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
...ever” and was capable of besetting even someone as skilled at rendering the absurd as Dostoevsky. But, says Camus, “one recognizes one’s course by discovering the paths that stray from it.”... (full context)