He also formulated new concepts for film and television, assumed a leadership role in a new experimental national theater, and continued to campaign for peace and a political solution in Algeria. He is also a writer attracted to causes, though he is not yet the author who will become world-famous for his moral seriousness and passionate commitment to justice and freedom.
Camus a collection of critical essaysAn eloquent personal statement with compelling psychological and philosophical insights, it includes the author’s direct rebuttal to traditional retributionist arguments in favor of capital punishment (such as Kant’s claim that death is the legally appropriate, indeed morally required, penalty for murder). However, his plays never achieved the same popularity, critical success, or level of incandescence as his more famous novels and major essays. Caligula (1938, first produced 1945)—“Men die and are not happy. In awarding Camus its prize for literature in 1957, the Nobel Prize committee cited his persistent efforts to “illuminate the problem of the human conscience in our time. ” He was honored by his own generation, and is still admired today, for being a writer of conscience and a champion of imaginative literature as a vehicle of philosophical insight and moral truth. In the fall of 1957, following publication of Exile and the Kingdom, a collection of short fiction, Camus was shocked by news that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
It is simply to point out that he was not a systematic, or even a notably disciplined thinker and that, unlike and, for example, he showed very little interest in metaphysics and ontology, which seems to be one of the reasons he consistently denied that he was an existentialist. Can an absurd world have intrinsic value? This is not to suggest that Camus lacked ideas or to say that his thought cannot be considered a personal philosophy. Suicide is the central subject of The Myth of Sisyphus and serves as a background theme in Caligula and The Fall. All the while he was putting finishing touches to his first novel The Stranger, which was finally published in 1942 to favorable critical response, including a lengthy and penetrating review by. Camus was still without stable employment or steady income when, after marrying his second wife, Francine Faure, in December of 1940, he departed Lyons, where he had been working as a journalist, and returned to Algeria. G., in his unconditional and passionate concern for the individual) as an even truer specimen of the type than Sartre. On the other hand, besides his personal rejection of the label, there appear to be solid reasons for challenging the claim that Camus is an existentialist. Throughout his career he continued to cherish and defend old-fashioned virtues like personal courage and honor that other Left-wing intellectuals tended to view as reactionary or bourgeois. An autobiographical novel, The First Man;.
Right away, we can eliminate any comparison with the efforts of Lucretius and Dante, who undertook to unfold entire cosmologies and philosophical systems in epic verse. Camus a collection of critical essays. Indeed, Camus’s dissertation advisor penciled onto his dissertation the assessment “More a writer than a philosopher. ” And at various times in his career he also accepted the labels journalist, humanist, novelist, and even moralist. All of which is understandable. Affirming a defiantly atheistic creed, Camus concludes with one of the core ideas of his philosophy: “If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one. ” The Myth of Sisyphus ( Le Mythe de Sisyphe, 1943)—If there is a single non-fiction work that can be considered an essential or fundamental statement of Camus’s philosophy, it is this extended essay on the ethics of suicide (eventually translated and repackaged for American publication in 1955). Sartre, in his essay-review of The Stranger provides an additional gloss on the idea: “The absurd, to be sure, resides neither in man nor in the world, if you consider each separately. Alas, by this point, as he painfully realized, the odds of such an outcome were becoming increasingly unlikely. However, he apparently never felt comfortable identifying himself as a philosopher—a term he seems to have associated with rigorous academic training, systematic thinking, logical consistency, and a coherent, carefully defined doctrine or body of ideas. In their view, Camus qualifies as, at minimum, a closet existentialist, and in certain respects (e. It also has apocalyptic themes, bits of music hall comedy, and a collection of avant-garde theatrics thrown in for good measure.
He was the second child of Lucien Auguste Camus, a military veteran and wine-shipping clerk, and of Catherine Marie Cardona, a house-keeper and part-time factory worker. (Note: