Albert Camus and “The Stranger”

Published: 2021-07-02 04:39:55
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Albert Camus is a French writer and philosopher, Nobel Prize winner in 1957, an author who is usually referred as existentialist (although he rejected this), a  man who was called “Conscience of the West”. Camus was born in 1913 in Algeria in a family of a French settler and a Spanish woman.

His father died during the First World War in 1914. Camus mother moved to the suburbs of Algiers where the family had to survive in poor living conditions. However in 1923 Camus was accepted into the lycée and afterwards managed to gain entrance to the University of Algiers. At this time Camus became interested in football, yet tuberculosis has put an end to his hobby.

During his studies Camus continued to experience material problems and so he had to take odd jobs like a clerk or a tutor. Those hardships still did not prevent purposive Camus to present his master thesis on Neo-Platonism in 1936.
While in the University Camus joined the communist movements of various kinds and then the anarchist party. Camus wrote numerous publications on anarchism and founded a Worker’s Theater in 1935. Political publications cost him job in 1939. In 1940 he decided to join the French army to fight against the Nazi, but he failed due to tuberculosis. Camus did not die at war with the Germans as his father, and had to witness Nazi parades in Paris and the execution of Gabriel Péri - an event that crystallized Camus anti-German views.
In 1942 he returned to Algeria where he stayed until the Allies returned to Paris. During the Was Camus joined a cell of Resistance movement and published and underground newspaper.  Anarchism remained in Camus mind for the rest of his life. He supported anarchists during Spanish civil war and later in the 50-s during anti-communist apprising in Germany, Poland and Hungary.
In 1951 he published “The Rebel” – a philosophical analysis of rebellion which demonstrated his alienation from communism and resulted in breach of his friendship with Sartre, however, strengthened his friendship with George Orwell, with whom he opposed totalitarianism of both East and West.
Together with Orwell and others he organized the European Federalist Movement in 1945 and welcomed the ideas of UN and European federation, which later failed as a result of domination of Churchill’s idea of European Union.
At the time Camus became known as a dogmatic opponent of restrictions of freedom of any kind, and a principal antagonist of death penalty, which he castigated in “The Plague” and especially in “The Stranger”. Camus was also one of the first cultural activists who protested against nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as nuclear weapons themselves.
Family life of Camus was not so stable, as his political opinions. In 1934 he married Simone Hie – a woman who was addicted to morphine, however, he soon divorced her as a result of infidelities of both. In 1940 he married for the second time. This time his wife was Francine Faure, talented pianist and mathematician.
Love of Camus to Francine was so passionate that he even rejected his own anarchist views on marriage as unnatural institution. After marriage Camus had numerous affairs with other women, which he did not even try to hide. Still on September 5, 1945 Francine gave birth to twins Catherine and Jean.
Camus life ended in a traffic accident on January 4, 1960 near Sens. France. His close friend and publisher Michel Gallimard drove the car and also perished. Camus grave in the Lourmarin Cemetery, Lourmarin, Vaucluse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France. The twin children of Camus still hold copyright on all of his works[1].
[1] O. Todd. Albert Camus: A Life. Da Capo Press; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition. 2000.

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