Albert Camus Essays

He was at the height of his career—at work on an autobiographical novel, planning new projects for theatre, film, and television, and still seeking a solution to the lacerating political turmoil in his homeland—when he died tragically in an automobile accident in January 1960.

Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913, in Mondovi, a small village near the seaport city of Bonê (present-day Annaba) in the northeast region of French Algeria.

One can well imagine that it was as a result of this experience that his famous conception of Sisyphean struggle, heroic defiance in the face of the Absurd, first began to take shape within his imagination.

In 1933, Camus enrolled at the University of Algiers to pursue his diplome d’etudes superieures, specializing in philosophy and gaining certificates in sociology and psychology along the way.

After his father’s death, Camus, his mother, and his older brother moved to Algiers where they lived with his maternal uncle and grandmother in her cramped second-floor apartment in the working-class district of Belcourt.

Camus’s mother Catherine, who was illiterate, partially deaf, and afflicted with a speech pathology, worked in an ammunition factory and cleaned homes to help support the family.That same year Camus also earned his degree and completed his dissertation, a study of the influence of Plotinus and neo-Platonism on the thought and writings of St. Over the next three years Camus further established himself as an emerging author, journalist, and theatre professional.After his disillusionment with and eventual expulsion from the Communist Party, he reorganized his dramatic company and renamed it the Théâtre de l’Equipe (literally the Theater of the Team).Later, while living in occupied France during WWII, he became active in the Resistance and from 1944-47 served as editor-in-chief of the newspaper ), he had achieved an international reputation and readership.It was in these works that he introduced and developed the twin philosophical ideas—the concept of the Absurd and the notion of Revolt—that made him famous.The next four years (1933-37) were an especially busy period in his life during which he attended college, worked at odd jobs, married his first wife (Simone Hié), divorced, briefly joined the Communist party, and effectively began his professional theatrical and writing career.Among his various employments during the time were stints of routine office work where one job consisted of a Bartleby-like recording and sifting of meteorological data and another involved paper shuffling in an auto license bureau.The name change signaled a new emphasis on classic drama and avant-garde aesthetics and a shift away from labor politics and agitprop.In 1938 he joined the staff of a new daily newspaper, the , where his assignments as a reporter and reviewer covered everything from contemporary European literature to local political trials.Albert Camus was a French-Algerian journalist, playwright, novelist, philosophical essayist, and Nobel laureate.Though he was neither by advanced training nor profession a philosopher, he nevertheless made important, forceful contributions to a wide range of issues in moral philosophy in his novels, reviews, articles, essays, and speeches—from terrorism and political violence to suicide and the death penalty.

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