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L'Etranger. Albert Camus. Camus: The man, the myth. Biography. Born in Algeria, 1913 Grew up in Belcourt , Algiers. More Bio. Grew up in poverty, but was spotted as an academic talent by Louis Germain , who helped him to obtain a high school scholarship.

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l etranger


Albert Camus

  • Born in Algeria, 1913
  • Grew up in Belcourt, Algiers
more bio
More Bio
  • Grew up in poverty, but was spotted as an academic talent by Louis Germain, who helped him to obtain a high school scholarship.
  • In 1957, after Camus won his Nobel Prize for Literature, he dedicated it to Germain.
  • Camus could have probably been a professional athlete, but his contraction of tuberculosis ended those dreams. Side effects from the disease plagued him for life.
more bio1
More Bio
  • After his first bout with TB, Camus spent a year recuperating with his uncle, GustaveAcault.
  • Gustave was an autodidact well known for his wit. He fostered Camus’ love of literature.
  • Also, Camus was influenced by Jean Grenier, who introduced him to philosophy.
  • Grenier would move to the University of Algiers in 1933 and Camus followed as a student.
  • There Camus was introduced to Bergson, Nietzsche, and Communistic influences.
more bio2
More Bio
  • In 1932, Camus married a Bohemian actress named Simone Hie. She was engaged to one of Camus’ friends, but he married her two years later despite the fact.
  • The marriage was plagued with troubles, as Hie was addicted to morphine. She would publicly embarrass him and sleep with his friends.
  • They divorced in 1940.
  • Camus, under the persuasion of his uncle, joined the Communist/Socialist party and became an advocate for revolutionary syndicalism.
  • syn·di·cal·ism
  • noun1.a form or development of trade unionism, originating in France, that aims at the possession of the means of production and distribution, and ultimately at the controlof society, by federated bodies of industrial workers, and that seeks to realize its purposes through general strikes, terrorism, sabotage, etc.
  • 2.an economic system in which workers own and manage industry.
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More Bio
  • Camus was eventually ousted from the party because he sympathized with Algerian nationalists, who had no rights at this time.
  • In 1938, he started a newspaper called the Algerian Republican.
  • This closed with the beginning of WWII and Camus moved to Paris.
  • He started to pursue his writing and was married a second time (he also had two children).
  • He gained notoriety as a writer for Combat, the underground newspaper of the French Resistance.
more bio4
More Bio
  • In 1942 The Stranger was published.
  • Though he published many things in between, he became even more famous in 1947 for The Plague (La Peste).
  • Also during this time, Camus went on a tour of the Americas as a lecturer (he was well received, btw).
  • From 1945 to 1952, Camus was friends with Jean Paul Sartre, who heavily influenced his philosophy and way of thinking/writing.
  • Also, around 1950 Camus’ TB worsened.
more bio5
More Bio
  • Camus was killed in a car wreck (July 1960).
  • He had The First Man, an unfinished novel, in his briefcase.
  • This novel was found and published (in 1995).
books works
  • 1937 - The Wrong Side and the Right Side (L'envers et l'endroit) 1938 - Nuptials (Noces) 1938 - Caligula (performed 1945) 1942 - The Stranger (L'Étranger) 1942 - The Myth of Sisyphus (Le Mythe de Sisyphe)1944 - The Misunderstanding (La Malentendu) 1947 - The Plague (La Peste) 1948 - State of Siege (L'Etat de siége)1950 - The Just (Les Justes)1951 - The Rebel (L'Hommerévolté)1956 - The Fall (La Chute) 1957 - Exile and The Kingdom (L'exil et le royaume) 1970 - A Happy Death (La Mort heureuse) published posthumously1995 - The First Man (Le premier homme) published posthumously
  • Absurdist Philosophy
  • In philosophy, "The Absurd" refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any. In this context absurd does not mean "logically impossible," but rather "humanly impossible.“The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously. Absurdism, therefore, is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information, including the vast unknown, makes certainty impossible. As a philosophy, absurdism also explores the fundamental nature of the Absurd and how individuals, once becoming conscious of the Absurd, should react to it.
absurdism and nihilism
Absurdism and Nihilism
  • Absurdism is very closely related to existentialism and nihilism and has its origins in the 19th century Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, who chose to confront the crisis humans faced with the Absurd by developing existential philosophy.
  • Nihilism
  • The philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived.
  • The early 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard is generally considered the founder of existentialism. He maintained that the individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom.
principle of existentialism
Principle of Existentialism
  • They are obsessed with how to live one's life and believe that philosophical and psychological inquiry can help.
  • They believe there are certain questions that everyone must deal with (if they are to take human life seriously), and that these are special -- existential -- questions. Questions such as death, the meaning of human existence, the place of God in human existence, the meaning of value, interpersonal relationship, the place of self-reflective conscious knowledge of one's self in existing.Note that the existentialists on this characterization don't pay much attention to "social" questions such as the politics of life and what "social" responsibility the society or state has. They focus almost exclusively on the individual.
  • By and large Existentialists believe that life is very difficult and that it doesn't have an "objective" or universally known value, but that the individual must create value by affiriming it and living it, not by talking about it.
  • Existential choices and values are primarily demonstrated in ACT not in words.
  • Given that one is focusing on individual existence and the "existential" struggles (that is, in making decisions that are meaningful in everyday life), they often find that literary characterizations rather than more abstract philosophical thinking, are the best ways to elucidate existential struggles.
  • They tend to take freedom of the will, the human power to do or not do, as absolutely obvious. Now and again there are arguments for free will in Existentialist literature, but even in these arguments, one gets the distinct sense that the arguments are not for themselves, but for "outsiders." Inside the movement, free will is axiomatic, it is intuitively obvious, it is the backdrop of all else that goes on.There are certainly exceptions to each of these things, but this is sort of a placing of the existentialist-like positions.
famous existentialists
Famous Existentialists
  • Soren Kierkegaard
  • Rene DesCartes
  • FrederichNietzche
  • Jean Paul Sartre
  • Franz Kafka
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Chuck Palahnuik
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation,” which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be. Often referred to as one of the first existentialist philosophers along with Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), Nietzsche's revitalizing philosophy has inspired leading figures in all walks of cultural life, including dancers, poets, novelists, painters, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and social revolutionaries.
  • Sometimes called the “Father of Existentialism:
  • Sartre maintained that the concepts of authenticity and individuality have to be earned but not learned. We need to experience death consciousness so as to wake up ourselves as to what is really important; the authentic in our lives which is life experience, not knowledge
  • “Existence precedes essence”
  • Thus, the human beings – through their own consciousness – create their own values and determine a meaning to their life.Although it was Sartre who explicitly coined the phrase, similar notions can be found in the thought of many existentialist philosophers from Kierkegaard to Heidegger.
  • Won a Nobel Prize in 1964, but refused it!
  • “Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.”
  • “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
  • “One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.”
is he an absurdist
Is he an absurdist?
  • “This word “Absurd” has had an unhappy history and I confess that now it rather annoys me. When I analyzed the feeling of the Absurd in The Myth of Sisyphus, I was looking was looking for a method and not a doctrine. I was practicing methodical doubt. I was trying to make a “tabula rasa,” on the basis of which it would then be possible to construct something. If we assume that nothing has any meaning, then we must conclude that the world is absurd. But does nothing have any meaning? I have never believed we could remain at this point.”
is he an existentialist
Is he an existentialist?
  • “No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked. We have even thought of publishing a short statement in which the undersigned declare that they have nothing in common with each other and refuse to be held responsible for the debts they might respectively incur. It's a joke actually. Sartre and I published our books without exception before we had ever met. When we did get to know each other, it was to realise how much we differed. Sartre is an existentialist, and the only book of ideas that I have published, The Myth of Sisyphus, was directed against the so-called existentialist philosophers.”
the stranger
The Stranger
  • “For Camus, life has no rational meaning or order. We have trouble dealing with this notion and continually struggle to find rational structure and meaning in our lives. This struggle to find meaning where none exists is what Camus calls, the absurd. So strong is our desire for meaning that we dismiss out of hand the idea that there is none to be found. Camus wrote The Stranger as an enticement to his readers, to think about their own mortality and the meaning of their existence. The hero, or anti-hero, of The Stranger is Meursault. His life and attitudes possess no rational order. His actions are strange to us, there seems to be no reason behind them. We are given no reason why he chooses to marry Marie or gun down an Arab. For this, he is a stranger amongst us. And when confronted with the absurdity of the stranger's life society reacts by imposing meaning on the stranger.”-The Camus Society