It’s absurd” means “It’s impossible” but also “It’s contradictory.” If I see a man armed only with a sword attack a group of machine guns, I shall consider his act to be absurd.
There are absurd marriages, challenges, rancors, silences, wars, and even peace treaties.
Absurd is not in man (if such a metaphor could have a meaning) nor in the world, but in their presence together.— Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus.
No one has embraced “ the absurd” better than Franz Kafka – he makes it very apparent through his works- he introduces this in his short story“ metamorphosis”and develops further in the novellas “ the trial” and “ the castle”
Metamorphosis is a story about a traveling salesman who is going through the drudgery of his job because of assumed family responsibilities and to pay off family debt. One fine morning he wakes up and find himself turned into a “giant beetle” – what drives the absurdity home is his “ annoyance with this inconvenience because he is getting late for work”- in other words when his whole existence has changed he still is worried about “ catching a train in time”.
In a very concrete manner one could easily relate to this scenario when one is employed in a boring job so that one can “buy the latest gadget and be with jones and smiths” and is totally oblivious of the way it is “ transforming her life”.
This idea is developed further in his work “ the trial” wherein Mr K finds himself “arrested by three officials, “ as soon as he wakes up. He is clueless about the nature of his crime, and remains so, even after having navigated the “labyrinth of a convoluted legal system”.
Absurd is very succinctly examined by Albert Camus in the “myth of Sisyphus”
“What, then, is that incalculable feeling that deprives the mind of the sleep necessary to life? A world that can be explained even with bad reasons, is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity”.
“ this feeling of absurdity causes extreme “nausea towards life” as taken up by Jean Paul Sartre in his work “ Nausea” – it causes despair and is excruciatingly painful.
The remedies, unfortunately, are not listed by these philosophers, but nonetheless, I would like to quote Camus again”We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible. As for the possible, men suffice.”