One of the most influential works of this century, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought. Influenced by works such as Don Juan and the novels of Kafka, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide; the question of living or not living in a universe devoid of order or meaning. With lyric eloquence, Albert Camus brilliantly posits a way out of despair, reaffirming the value of personal existence, and the possibility of life (...) lived with dignity and authenticity. (shrink)
Translated by Anthony Bower With an Introduction by Oliver Todd 'A conscience with style' V.S. Pritchett The Rebel (1951) is Camus's 'attempt to understand the time I live in' and a brilliant essay on the nature of human revolt. Here he makes a daring critique of communism - how it had gone wrong behind the Iron Curtain and the resulting totalitarian regimes. And he questions two events held sacred by the left wing - the French Revolution of 1789 and the (...) Russian Revolution of 1917 - that had resulted, he believed, in the use of terrorism as a political instrument. In this towering intellectual document, Camus argues that hope for the future lies in revolt with revolution - a chance to achieve change without losing our freedom. 'The last French intellectual to take the side of humanity and talk its language... a figure of immense moral stature' Sunday Times Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. (shrink)
« Qu'est-ce qu'un homme révolté? Un homme qui dit non. Mais s'il refuse, il ne renonce pas : c'est aussi un homme qui dit oui, dès son premier mouvement. »[réf. nécessaire] D'apparence, il existe une limite à la révolte. Cependant, la révolte est un droit. La révolte naît de la perte de patience. Elle est un mouvement et se situe donc dans l'agir. Elle se définit par le « Tout ou Rien », le « Tous ou Personne ». En premier, (...) elle soumet l'idée d'égalité : position d'égal à égal entre le maître et l'esclave. Mais le révolté finit par imposer cette égalité qui se traduit souvent par une inversion des rôles (dialectique hégélienne). Suivant le raisonnement de Scheler, l'homme révolté n'est pas l'homme du ressentiment, c'est-à-dire qu'il ne baigne ni dans la haine ni dans le mépris. La révolte enfante des valeurs. De fait, « pour être, l'homme doit se révolter ». La révolte extirpe l'homme de la solitude puisqu'elle est collective, c'est l'« aventure de tous ». Néanmoins, faire l'expérience de la révolte, c'est faire l'expérience de l'ascèse. Les mythes de Prométhée, d'Achille (avec Patrocle), d'OEdipe et d'Antigone, sont des archétypes de révoltes antiques au même titre que la révolte de Spartacus. La révolte est souvent légitime, elle est l'expression la plus pure de la liberté et semble revêtir le visage de l'espoir. De surcroît, la révolte impose une tension, elle refuse donc formellement le confort de la tyrannie ou de la servitude. Le révolutionnaire a la volonté de « transformer le monde » (Marx) alors que le révolté veut « changer la vie » (Rimbaud). (shrink)
Contemporary scholarship tends to view Albert Camus as a modern, but he himself was conscious of the past and called the transition from Hellenism to Christianity “the true and only turning point in history.” For Camus, modernity was not fully comprehensible without an examination of the aspirations that were first articulated in antiquity and that later received their clearest expression in Christianity. These aspirations amounted to a fundamental reorientation of human life in politics, religion, science, and philosophy. Understanding the nature (...) and achievement of that reorientation became the central task of _Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism_. Primarily known through its inclusion in a French omnibus edition, it_ _has remained one of Camus’ least-read works, yet it marks his first attempt to understand the relationship between Greek philosophy and Christianity as he charted the movement from the Gospels through Gnosticism and Plotinus to what he calls Augustine’s “second revelation” of the Christian faith. Ronald Srigley’s translation of this seminal document helps illuminate these aspects of Camus’ work. His freestanding English edition exposes readers to an important part of Camus’ thought that is often overlooked by those concerned primarily with the book’s literary value and supersedes the extant McBride translation by retaining a greater degree of literalness. Srigley has fully annotated _Christian Metaphysics_ to include nearly all of Camus’ original citations and has tracked down many poorly identified sources. When Camus cites an ancient primary source, whether in French translation or in the original language, Srigley substitutes a standard English translation in the interest of making his edition accessible to a wider range of readers. His introduction places the text in the context of Camus’ better-known later work, explicating its relationship to those mature writings and exploring how its themes were reworked in subsequent books. Arguing that Camus was one of the great critics of modernity through his attempt to disentangle the Greeks from the Christians, Srigley clearly demonstrates the place of _Christian Metaphysics_ in Camus’ oeuvre. As the only stand-alone English version of this important work—and a long-overdue critical edition—his fluent translation is an essential benchmark in our understanding of Camus and his place in modern thought. (shrink)
For the want of something better to do, I sometimes reflect on democracy (in the Paris subway, of course). As you know, there is confusion in people's minds about that useful notion. And since I like to side with the greatest number of people possible, I look for definitions that might be acceptable to the largest number. That's not easy, and I don't pretend to have succeeded. But it seems to me that certain useful approximations are possible. To be brief, (...) here is one of them: democracy is the social and political exercice of modesty. Let me explain that. (shrink)
Personal writings.Albert Camus - 2020 - New York: Vintage International, Vintage Books, a Division of Random House LLC. Edited by Alice Yaeger Kaplan & Ellen Conroy Kennedy.details
Perhaps the most important philosopher of the twentieth century, Albert Camus (1913-1960), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is more relevant today than ever before. Personal Writing brings together, for the first time, thematically-linked essays from across Camus's writing career that reflect the scope of his personal preoccupations. Featuring a foreword by acclaimed Camus scholar Alice Kaplan (author of Looking for the Stranger), this volume will introduce a new generation of readers to a cultural icon.
The Nobel Prize winner's most influential and enduring lectures and speeches, newly translated by Quintin Hoare, in what is the first English language publication of this collection. Albert Camus (1913-1960) is unsurpassed among writers for a body of work that animates the wonder and absurdity of existence. Speaking Out: Lectures and Speeches, 1938-1958 brings together, for the first time, thirty-four public statements from across Camus's career that reveal his radical commitment to justice around the world and his role as a (...) public intellectual. From his 1946 lecture at Columbia University about humanity's moral decline, his 1951 BBC broadcast commenting on Britain's general election, and his strident appeal during the Algerian conflict for a civilian truce between Algeria and France, to his speeches on Dostoevsky and Don Quixote, this crucial new collection reflects the scope of Camus's political and cultural influence. (shrink)
For the want of something better to do, I sometimes reflect on democracy. As you know, there is confusion in people's minds about that useful notion. And since I like to side with the greatest number of people possible, I look for definitions that might be acceptable to the largest number. That's not easy, and I don't pretend to have succeeded. But it seems to me that certain useful approximations are possible. To be brief, here is one of them: democracy (...) is the social and political exercice of modesty. Let me explain that. (shrink)
"I know of no safe repository of the utlimate power of society but the people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take power from them, but to inform them by education." Thomas Jefferson, 1820.