"we enacted the myth of Sisyphus, who has become an existential icon"

The book references Albert Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus.

As noted in the bookmark for page 18, figures of Prometheus and Sisyphus graphically represent the particular repetitive torture of Antarctic travel where, each day, the trials of the previous day are relived in agonising monochrome, but also the grace and patience with which they bore their punishment making them positive inspirations for the passion (or suffering) that is the lot of man but that can lead to achievement. For there is no success without the ability to suffer pain and take on risk.