A Life Worth Living

A review of A life Worth Living by Rob Mason

Though we do not face the same dangers that threatened Europe when Camus wrote "The Myth" of Sisyphus" and "The Stranger," we confront other alarms. Herein lies Camus abiding significance. Reading his work in Robert Zaretsky's book:  A Life Worth Living, we become more thoughtful observers of our own lives. For Camus, rebellion is an eternal human condition, a struggle against injustice that makes life worth living. But rebellion is also bounded by self-imposed constraints--it is a noble if impossible ideal. Such a contradiction suggests that if there is no reason for hope, there is also no occasion for despair--a sentiment perhaps better suited for the ancient tragedians than modern political theorists but one whose wisdom abides. Yet we must not venerate suffering, Camus cautions: the world’s beauty demands our attention no less than life’s train of injustices. That recognition permits him to declare: "It was the middle of winter when I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable."