The absurd is not a quality of man or of the world, but 'is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world', writes Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus. The absurd is the tension, the discrepancy between man asking the world for meaning. for reasons, and the world that does not answer, that stays meaningless, reasonless by itself.
'At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face', says Camus. Man can live his life unthinkingly: 'Rising, tram, four hours in the office or factory, meal, tram, fourr hours of work, meal, sleep and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, according to the same rhythm--this path is easily followed most of the time,' writes Camus. Habit is the unconscious explanation of the world, which means that the demand for an actual explanation does not really arise: 'A world that may be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world.' But, as we read, 'one day the "why" arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement'. According to Camus this is 'the first sign of absurdity', 'it inaugurates the impulse of consciousness'. From that moment on, man and world are no longer unthinkingly 'one': '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', writes Camus, '[t]his divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.'
What Camus describes as the experience of the absurd is man realizing the meaning of his own consciousness, that is, of his freedom. His descriptions of man's 'absurd freedom' are very similar to Sartre's analysis of the intentionality of consciousness, which is always a relation, a distance to the world [...] Camus emphasizes on the one hand the physical factuality and on the other hand the free consciousness of man: 'Through the whole of human consciousness runs a fault line; man is double. Due to his body, he also belongs to the world of objects, while as consciousness he is free from this world. It is this division that Camus calls "absurdity", writes Achterhuis.
Achterhuis's book: Camus, p.183