ALBERT CAMUS Camus was a French novelist, essayist, and dramatist. He is regarded a sone of the finest philosophical writers of modern France. His work is powerful, and he uses a concise style. His style of writing is the basis " of the post-World War II philosophy of the futility and meaninglessness of human life, but at the same time it reveals a more hopeful outlook." Camus was born in Mondavi (now Dream), Algeria, on November 7, 1913. He was educated at the University of Algiers. Camus established an amateur theater to bring drama to working-class audiences; he also worked as a journalist.
During World War II he was with the French Resistance and waste editor of Combat, an underground paper, from 1945 to 1947. Albert Camus had a reputation as a philosopher because of his deep insight on the concept of life and death. He did not like this label put on him bythe "over-zealous" literary critics. Camus however wrote about the pain of life and it's silliness. Throughout his life he could not halt his determination to writing pessimistic writings. Camus admitted to his pessimistic views and said that the problem with society is not one " s acceptance of cruelty but there "assent"2 to it.
He refused to do this. Camus' central idea was to give man his deserved credit regardless of there disrespects on him. He realized the fate of man, but did not let it affect the little value that he can receive from this "valueless world." 2 Camus " was concerned with life and death, with the people that lived and died. Hew as not concerned with the philosophy. This view towards life and death probably originated from his father's death in the "first battle of the Marne in September 19142, 8 months after Camus was born. This was probably the source of Camus' existentialist beliefs and writings.
Though Camus had many pessimistic views, he rejoiced life and brought attention on to the importance of it. In his writings he expresses this ina aim pointing towards his personal beliefs. His first writing La Mort Heu rase was based on the celebration of life. Int his story a hero by the name of Meursault wishes to avoid the dishonor ofa 'natural death.' Meursault believes that a natural death is the death ofa spirit in which the body still lives.
On in the story Meursault plans the death of his mentor Zagreus. In this face-off between the crippled Zagreus and Meursault, Zagreus states, 'I shall never make the slightest move to shorten a life in which I believe so deeply. I would accept to be even worse off, blind, dumb, anything you like, providing only that I could feel in my belly that dark, ardent flame which is me and me alive.' This statement by Zagreus so heavily depicts Camus' personality. The knowledge that one may be crippled (crippled by the world and it's pain) and loves life so much is typical of Camus and his life.
In the novel L'Etranger or the Stranger Camus speaks for all those who cannot speak. He writes about a man who was living a simple and innocent life. He shows how life gradually surrounded him and devastated him. This story starts off with the death of Meursault's mother. He does not weep a ther funeral.
Later on his neighbor, a pimp called Raymond Masson is having trouble with a former mistress, an Arab girl, and is being pursued by two Arab men who want to avenge her treatment. Later when Meursault, the Arab girl, and Masson run into the Arab men they have a fight and it ends up inthe death of the Arab Men. Meursault is arrested, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death. This closing in on Meursault by his environment shows how a man who is defending the honor of his friend is himself penalized by society. He is subject to injustice for his actions and pays his life for this. Thought his is ironic that his friend lived and he died, Meursault is understanding of his death and understands clearly how society functions.
Camus tries to pass along a theme to his reader that a person does not know the value of life until he / she is about to lose it. They are blind tolife's gifts. "Meursault's awareness of life is severely limited. He is affected by a profoundly apathetic ennui, which makes him uncommonly sensitive to the dullness and monotony of existence. Though he does not says, the reader feels that he sees very little point in life, but merely carries on for want of anything better to do. He sleeps, eats, works, all without enthusiasm, and observes with detachment the mechanical gestures with which people fill their lives.
He sees around him nothing but sterile routine. The people who form the decor to the story, and these includeMeursault himself, do not wonder, question, or think. Both inwardly and outwardly, their existence is dominated by habit." Camus similarly wrote about the boredom of life by his character in the both The Stranger and in La Mort Heure use. He warns the reader that everyday actions should be more profoundly rejoiced and that life should not be a routine task. Camus's style of writing matches the theme. He uses a style of writing which was considered invisible, because it contained detail that was hidden.
"The flat, impersonal style is perfectly matched to the subject-matter, the austere simplicity of the narrative effectively checks any imaginative leap the reader might be tempted to make. Adjectives a reused sparingly, and though the tale is told in the first person, it achieves such total objectivity as to give the impression of an impartial account." The literary themes and the technique of writing gives Camus stories a sense of realism and a credibility. The more believable a story line, the more significant the story is to the reader. It makes the reader remain faithful to the idea.
These themes that stick with the reader are usually existential themes, that explore an individual in a harsh world, give the reader a sense of optimism that keeps them content with there life. The readers are content with there life because the author gives them a window into there future, which is the end of life. He simply states that one should enjoy his / her life. This is why Albert Camus is one of the most renowned writer's of modern and world literature. His books are representative of his life and the fate of every man's life. Bibliography 1.
Masters, Brian, Camus: A Study, Heinemann, London, 1974. 2. "Camus, Albert," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation. Camus, Albert, The Stranger, Alfred A.
Knopf, N. Y. 1946.