Few would question that Albert Camus (1913-1960), novelist, playwright, philosopher and journalist, is a major cultural icon. His widely quoted works have led to countless movie adaptions, graphic novels, pop songs, and even t-shirts. In this Very Short Introduction, Oliver Gloag chronicles the inspiring story of Camus' life. From a poor fatherless settler in French-Algeria to the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Gloag offers a comprehensive view of Camus' major works and interventions, including his notion of the absurd and revolt, as well as his highly original concept of pure happiness through unity with nature called bonheur . This original introduction also addresses debates on coloniality, which have arisen around Camus' work. Gloag presents Camus in all his complexity a staunch defender of many progressive causes, fiercely attached to his French-Algerian roots, a writer of enormous talent and social awareness plagued by self-doubt, and a crucially relevant author whose major works continue to significantly impact our views on contemporary issues and events.
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Preface 1: Camus, son of France in Algeria 2: Camus, from reporter to editorialist 3: Camus and the absurd 4: Rebel without a cause 5: Camus and Sartre -- the breaks that made them inseparable 6: Camus and Algeria 7: Camus' legacies Further reading Index
Oliver Gloag is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Literature at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. He was educated at Columbia University, Tulane University (J.D.), and Duke University (Ph.D.); he specializes in francophone and postcolonial literature, twentieth century French literature, and cultural history. He has published on Sartre and Camus and contributed to The Sartrean Mind (Routledge). He is the author of a forthcoming book on the ideological and political claiming of Camus in contemporary France (La fabrique).
Reviews for Albert Camus: A Very Short Introduction
An admirably concise but penetrating analysis of unresolved conflicts between Camus' humanism and his attachment to French Algeria as the key to his writing. * Robert O. Paxton, Emeritus Professor at Columbia University * Oliver Gloag presents Camus without apologies. The reader must come to terms with the paradox of the colonizer's unreasonable love of home , his controversial sexual politics, and his luminous prose of anguish and integrity. * Professor Gayatri Spivak, author of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason *