Albert Camus

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend."
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  • 7 November 1913–4 January 1960) was a French Algerian author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He was a key philosopher of the 20th-century and his most famous work is the novelL’Étranger (The Stranger, in the context of my post, The Outsider).
  • In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was a group opposed to some tendencies of the surrealistic movement of André Breton. Camus was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature – after Rudyard Kipling – when he became the first African-born writer to receive the award. He is the shortest-lived of any literature laureate to date, having died in an automobile accident just over two years after receiving the award.

  • Before commenting upon the works of Albert Camus, I should first make a rather bold statement: I consider him to be an existential writer. More accurately, I consider him a writer of existential works. It is fashionable in academic writings to now drop the label from almost every “existentialist” — especially since only Jean-Paul Sartre seems to have embraced the label, and then only for a brief time. Certainly it is possible to debate Camus’ status as an existentialist, but one cannot ignore existential elements in his fiction. Camus preferred to think of himself as an “absurdist.”
  • As one reads Camus, or any other writer sometimes called “existential,” remember existentialism was never an organized movement. Existential situations and themes appear in Dostoevsky’s works, but he certainly was not an existentialist. In large part, the following commentaries do not focus upon whether or not Camus was an existentialist… I leave that to the readers and individuals with doctorates in philosophy. Personally, I think Camus stands far above Sartre as a writer and nearly equals Franz Kafka. That view is my bias.

    "You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it."

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