All terms

What is Nihilism?

The rejection of all religious and moral principles.

The Art of Believing in Nothing

Nihilism, in creative writing, is often used as a tool to explore bleak and desolate worlds, characters, and themes, where any sense of purpose or moral compass is absent, or worse yet, meaningless. It is a concept that roots its origins in philosophy and has been adapted into literature many times, such as Albert Camus’s The Stranger and Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. Nihilism is a rejection of religious and moral principles, an acceptance of the nothingness that we ultimately face in life; and while this may seem like a depressing outlook, it can provide a powerful landscape for projective creative work. The lack of purpose or meaning is an opportunity to explore the depths of creativity, and bring new perspectives to the sometimes-mundane world of writing. Embrace the art of believing in nothing and see where your pen will take you.

The Void in the Literature

Here are two examples of how nihilism has been used in literature.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Albert Camus uses nihilism in The Stranger to explore the existential nothingness of life through the eyes of the character Meursault, who is detached from his surroundings, refuses to accept society's codes, and waits detachedly for his execution.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho portrays a dark universe where there is no connection between actions and ethics, showing the bleakness of a life devoid of meaning or morality.