Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Gerard Hauser

Second Advisor

Janice Peck

Third Advisor

Robert Craig


Communication conceived as understanding is a normative telos among scholars in the field. Absurdity, in the work of Albert Camus, can provide us with a framework to go beyond communication understood as a binary (understanding and misunderstanding) and propose a new conception of communication as absurd. That is, it is an impossible task, however necessary thus we need to embrace its absurdity and value the effort itself as much as the result. Before getting into Camus' arguments I explain the work of Friedrich Nietzsche to understand the French philosopher in more detail. I describe eternal recurrence and Übermensch as two concepts that can be related to communication as absurd. Then I explain Camus' notion of absurdity using a Nietzschean lens. Later I present an absurdist framework to understand communication. The framework is an aim to deconstruct communication conceptualized as understanding but at the same time go beyond and propose a new way of engaging in communication: Übercommunication. Finally I illustrate my arguments examining two novels of Albert Camus: The Stranger and The Plague.