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With a worldview formed amid the unfathomable human suffering of the early 20th century, Albert Camus’s writings reflect on the inherent absurdity of the human condition, including his best-known work, the novella The Stranger (1942). But the arc of his career, from his ‘cycle of the absurd’ and his ‘cycle of revolt’ to his ‘cycle of love’ – left unfinished after Camus himself met a rather meaningless end in a car accident – points towards a humane philosophy, centred on a defiant pursuit of freedom and value in a futile, incomprehensible universe. This animation from TED-Ed scopes Camus’s career, outlook and cultural influence, shedding light on how, where he might have found hopelessness, he instead found inspiration. For more on Camus’s life, including how his worldview clashed with those of his existentialist contemporaries, watch the Aeon original animation Sartre vs Camus.
Dazzling timelapse shows how microbes spoil our food – and sometimes enrich it
An animator wonders: can you ever depict someone without making them a caricature?
Inside the unique London community built by residents to defy housing discrimination
Film and visual culture
With human help, AIs are generating a new aesthetics. The results are trippy
Sports and games
Bodies, bikes and groovy music propel this stylish classic film from 1965
Can art in a swanky restaurant ever be transcendent? On Rothko’s Seagram Murals
History of ideas
Peter Singer charts the path from Hegelian philosophy to Marxist revolution
Why a journeyman boxer finds contentment in the art of losing
Living off-grid on a remote Scottish island is a mix of rejection and acceptance