|The Myth of Sisyphus by Titian|
But he was definitely interested in Kafka's works. No surprise, Kafka was very a influential author, and one of the best writers of the 20th century. Both The Trial (Kafka, published posthumously in 1925) and The Stranger (Camus, 1942) deal with characters who are on trial, but they won't, under any circumstance, accept society's laws concerning morality or religion, because they are forced to find the meaning in the meaningless world. They won't save their lives, by accepting “illusions.”.
Joseph K (The Trial), is trapped in Kafkaesque world, desperately trying to find out what is he accused of. The authority, as in any other Kafka's story, is inaccessible.
Meursault (The Stranger) on the other hand, knows his crime, but he is not punished for what he did, but for his lack of emotions after his mother's death, which have nothing to do with the murder he has committed. Meursault is different, and he needs to be punished because of it. An honest person, he always speaks his mind and does not care how other people see him. He doesn’t feel the need to defer to what society expects him to be or thinks of him. He is the stranger to society.
Many writers and philosophers have their interpretation of what is Absurd. Sartre wrote about the absurdity of individual experience, while Kierkegaard wrote more about religion, and how many religious truths prevent humans from reaching God.
The term “Kafkaesque” is used to describe ideas that are marked by senseless bureaucracy, dangerous and surreal, and often appear in Kafka's works, such as The Trial, The Metamorphosis and The Castle. It often describes humiliation of humans under authority, and authority is yet another human and humans have flaws, beliefs and imperfections. The Trial and The Castle are intertwined. The Trial describes the problem, but it doesn't solve it. The Castle solves the problem by making us accept it and live with it. The Castle's every chapter is a new defeat, but also a new beginning, as well. It teaches us durability. Kafka's works perfectly describe the path between hope and despair, because he IS the master of despair.
Camus describes Meursault as someone who is unaware of the absurdity of human existence, yet this absurdity colours his actions; the only real and true things are his physical experiences. Both Joseph K and Meursault feel the terror of society on their skin, at the end, they are brutally wiped out because they don't think nor act the way society demands. Both books, The Trial and The Stranger, look very simple, but are carefully planned. After you read them, you will discover a whole world of symbolism and meaning.
For those of you who want to experience more, besides these books, we highly recommend to you a film adaptation of The Trial, directed by Orson Welles in 1962.