Monday, April 4, 2016

C = CAMUS, Albert - Authors, A-Z Blog Challenge 2016

French Philosopher, Resistance fighter. Intelligent man. Cool writer.

C = CAMUS, Albert, Author and Philosopher
Theme = Authors AtoZ

An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. Albert Camus **

To be happy we must not be too concerned with others. Albert Camus **

Camus may have been the last French writer that Americans knew about due to his being associated with the news lines in France, or because of his political leanings. He was compared to Bogart by those who had met him. His ideals and rejection of the Communist Party in France at that time endeared him to many who liked freedom, but also distanced him from some of the intellectuals of the time. One of them was Sartre.


Albert Camus, 7 November 1913 - 4 January 1960, was a French philosopher, author and journalist. He is known for contributing to the philosophy known as absurdism. In 1957, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Camus was the second youngest recipient to receive this Nobel Prize at the age of 44, after Rudyard Kipling, who received it at 42.

He was born in Algeria where his family was called a Pied Noir meaning those European descendent citizens who returned to mainland France as soon as Algeria gained independence. It was generally applied to Christian and Jewish people who had migrated from all parts of the Mediterranean to French Algeria, French Protectorate in Morocco, and French protectorate of Tunisia.

Despite being classified with the Existentialists, Camus didn't consider himself one. He said in an interview in 1945 that he had no ideological associations and that he and Jean-Paul Sartre were both surprised to see their names linked in this reference.

During the Second World War, Camus joined the French Resistance and edited an underground newspaper in 1943 called Combat. When Paris was liberated by the Allies in August 1944, Camus witnessed and reported on the last of the fighting. In August 1945, he and a few other French editors publicly expressed their opposition to the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan. The US and Japan had fought hard in the Pacific, while Europe had seen more of the destruction wrought by Germany.

After the war, Camus frequented the Café de Flore on the Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone De Beauvoir and others. He toured the US to lecture on French thought/philosophy.

Camus died January 4, 1960 at the age of 46, in a car accident near Sens, in the small town of Villeblevin. He had planned to travel by train with his wife and children, but changed his mind.  At the last minute, he accepted his publishers proposal to travel with him by car. . .a fateful decision.

Survived by his wife and twin son and daughter, his children hold the copyrights to his work. Two of his works were published posthumously, A Happy Death (1970) and The First Man (1995) which he was working on before he died. The First Man was an unfinished autobiographical work about his childhood in Algeria. 

Another of his books, The Plague, (La Peste) 1947 is the only book by Camus that I have read. His books, translated of course, were not easy to find when I was reading work by several French writers.

Are you familiar with Albert Camus or have you read any of his work? Have you ever read 'The Plague"(the book that explained what the plague was and how it was spread)? How are you enjoying the A to Z Challenge so far?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!

A to Z Challenge - 2016

It's April again and time for the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge  This is my 4th year participating in the challenge! (Previous A to Z  posts at the top of my blog page tabs are: Art A-Z, French Faves, Paris, Etc.) 

Thanks to originator Lee (Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out), and the co-hosts and co-host teams who make the challenge run smoothly. See the list of participants, and other important information at the A to Z Blog site.  The basic idea is to blog every day in April except Sundays (26 days). On April 1st, you begin with the letter A, April 2 is the letter B, and so on. Posts can be random or use a theme.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2016 - Badge

A to Z Blog List 


Pied Noir definition

Wiki on Albert Camus 

Sampling of Camus' quotes ** 

New Yorker article about Camus and Sartre


  1. This is one philospher I've not heard of, and being a Nobel prize winner, I am ashamed with myself. Fascinating post which has left me wanting to know more. Thank you for sharing. Have a lovely day.

  2. Hi DG - I knew of Camus .. but certainly didn't know much about him. How sad he died so young ... I really should attend some lectures on similar authors ...

    This post will be so useful .. cheers Hilary

  3. Sad to die so young. And he was really young when he was working on the newspaper during the war.

  4. To have died at such a young age, how sad. No, I'm not familiar with him, but the history of The Plague, so interesting and terrifying!
    Happy April 4th!

  5. Now we're getting to my kind of literature. At least it was when I was a young intellectual (or considered myself one, hmmm). I have read all of his early books, but not those you mention here that were published in the 1990s. Must check them out if they are available.

  6. We did L'Etranger for French A level and I also read The Plague and The Myth of Sisyphus, he is certainly a very interesting and challenging writer, I would highly recommend him to anyone interested in literature that is taking a challenging view of human existence.

  7. I must've read something by him...because I remember being in 8th grade English class and having to give a short oral report about him. My teacher gave everyone their authors on paper, so I did my research and when I read his name, she stopped me. I said it again and she stopped me again. Then she tells me his name is pronounced "Cammoo". I was saying Albert 'Caymass'. I thought that was unfair of her to embarrass me in front of the class like that, cause she never said his name out loud and I was reading an encyclopedia and it never said how it was pronounced. :(

  8. So much to learn here. (Honestly, the more I learn, the more stupid I feel. Does that make sense???) For instance, I didn't think they ever really understood precisely how The Plague was spread. Well, there are different plagues. I'm pretty sure one was spread by rats (when they killed off a bunch of black cats)... is that right or just something I "heard," but isn't actually factual? I don't know. Now I want to read The Plague. Seems like I'd definitely learn something!

  9. A most interesting post, and as usual a great theme (I went back and read all three posts, because today I have time.) I can't guarantee that I'll make every post or have the time to go back and read them all, but I sure will make an effort to stop by as often as possible. You always do such an in-depth job on these posts (all your posts, really). I enjoy them and I usually learn something.

  10. No, I haven't read The Plague. It's unfortunate that this author died at such a young age.

  11. I read The Outsider - and very single one of Isaac Asimov!

  12. Oooh, forgot ~Liz

  13. The only thing I have ever read of Camus was an excerpt, and I read it way too young and didn't understand and didn't ever try reading him again. Your post makes me want to read The Plague. And I didn't know that he died so young, that's awful tragic. He must have had many books still left unwritten within him!

    I always enjoy the A-Z, but this time it's just a little more sparkly than usual :)

  14. I read L'Etranger (The Stranger) in high school. (An English translation; Mom thought I needed Latin and Greek.) That's the only one of his books I've read, and I ended up reading it several times, it was so good.

    A to Z is a busy time for me, since I'm a cohost and because I follow so many people doing the challenge, but it's why I started blogging to begin with.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

  15. I've heard of him, but I don't think I've ever read his stuff. Existentialism annoys me. I think I was exposed to it too young.

  16. Hi, D. G.

    I studied Camus in College. Fascinating man and writer!

  17. Fascinating and brave man. Oh, if he had only traveled by train with his wife. :-(

  18. my maiden name was Hudson, so of course I had to have a look at your blog. I enjoyed discovering more about Camus.
    Interesting to see that he did not consider himself to be an existentialist.

    zannie rose
    A-Z visit


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