15 March 2013 - ALBERT CAMUS - Guest Author


- Guest Author -
G'day guys,
Welcome to some background on another author who has left us - Albert Camus.

Albert Camus was born in 1913 and was a chief literary figure in non-metropolitan French Literature. In addition, he was also a journalist and was regarded as a keen philosopher of the 20th century. His origins lied in Algeria, and there are major influences in his thoughts and work from there. 

 He was born to semi-proletariat parents, who were attached to circles with strong revolutionary tendencies and they also had a profound interest in philosophy. Camus came to France when he was 25 years old. Albert Camus always had strong political tendencies; the man in him and those times met, which led to his involvement in the resistance movement, but after the liberation period he became a columnist with the newspaper, Combat. However, most of his journalistic activities and propaganda were merely responses to the incessant demands of the time. 

During the year of 1947, Camus gave up working as a political journalist and apart from writing literary fiction and essays, was also extremely pro-active in the theatre as a producer and playwright. He adapted several plays by Calderon, Dino Buzzati, Lope de Vega, and Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun. His genuine love for theater can be attributed to his membership in L’Equipe, an Algerian theatre group whose “collective creation” Révolte dans les Asturies was barred for political reasons. 

In the years, 1934-1936, he was married to Simone Hie, who was the daughter of a rich ophthalmologist. Camus’ entry in the Communist Part in 1934 was a mostly due to the increase in fascism in Europe; he was entrusted with the responsibility of doing propaganda work among the Muslims. However his association with the Communist party could not be sustained, and by 1935 he felt a sense of disillusionment. Therefore he invested all his creative energies into the theatre group, Theatre du Travail, where he simultaneously worked as an actor, director, and playwright. Consequently, he also formed a philosophy of moralism that further led to his bizarre ideas. He posited that this state can only exist, if God is absent. 

After some time, Camus left Algiers to travel Central Europe. Long-standing problems with Simone due to her intense drug addiction, led to the break-up of their marriage. However, despite problems, he still managed to produce his own play that year – The Revolt in Austria. In 1937, Albert also managed to complete his book – A Happy Death although it wasn’t published during the time he was alive.
On the 4th of January 1960, Camus was killed in a car accident at Villeblevin. A Happy Death and The First Man were published decades later. The unexpected death marked the loss of one of the greatest existentialist philosophers. 

Clancy's comment: Some of our past writers certainly led interesting lives. 

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