• Albert Camus

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: Oliver Gloag
  • Narrated by: Graham Halstead
  • Length: 4 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Albert Camus

By: Oliver Gloag
Narrated by: Graham Halstead
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2020 Oliver Gloag (P)2020 Tantor

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Good summary

A good summary of Camus’ thoughts and experiences and of his disputes with Sartre. Also a fair treatment of his internal contradictions.

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Camus: Great poet but not a good man.

Excellent analysis of Camus' life and work in spite of its brevity. Gloag reviews the unsavory attitudes and views of Camus in his later works that most biographers and many of his admirers do not want to discuss. Camus, although always insisting that he was never a follower of any ideology, was at the end of his life firmly in the camp of Algeria remaining a colony of France today, tomorrow and forever. In one of his novels he glamorized French colonists (pied noirs) who utter racist epithets and describe the Algerians as contemptible animals. To the end he described the French as having an inalienable right to their holdings in Algeria. You do not get exposed to this poison by reading The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus or The Plague, books which I loved as a teen. But in his later works, especially The Last Man, the full extent of his lack of humanity is exposed.
In the end, Camus was a magnificent writer of poetic prose and gorgeous essays. His lyricism was in many cases, without peer. But as a human being, he failed miserably to consider the plight of anyone other than himself and his beloved settler/invader class. Just like Mersault in The Stranger, he imagined that the nameless others, the original inhabitants of Algeria, could be disregarded and erased from history with a few pulls of the trigger.