Whenever a sincere attempt to measure the depth of twentieth century will be made, there would be Camus and his thoughts. The greatness of Camus, the literary giant, may be inquired against the backdrop of Camus, the succinct philosopher, only to conclude the inescapable truth: they are inseparable. The world Camus builds in ‘The Plague‘, the world Camus hints in his short-stories such as “The renegade“, the world that shatters in his novels like “The Fall” or “The stranger” or in his play “The Just Assassins“: all of them are not dissociable from the hoarse outcry of “The rebel” or the morbid fatalism of “The myth of Sisyphus“. Why is it that Camus so close to our heart, my heart: I often ask myself. I wonder why, even after reading all the masters of Twentieth Century, in my mind Camus remain standing tall, hovering over everyone else. It is not simply because of his literary genius. His works were never amount to be as ambitious as Ulysses of Finnegan’s Wake. His oeuvre is not as magnanimous in its depth and premise as that of Sartre. Still Camus remains as the one and only: because, he holds in his head the duality of our generation, the dialectics that is tearing us apart: the dialectics between fatalistic ignominy and rebellious upsurge.
To write about someone like Camus, it is hard not to give away to the temptation of putting one quote after another, letting the words speak for themselves and keep observing the awe in the readers’ eyes. But I am not going to give in to that, because Camus for me is not one-liners; he is the totality. He is the Atlas holding the world of our thought upon his shoulder tirelessly. There is something within the premise of his novels and short-stories that advocates the in-depth analysis, a rereading of the text of apparent clarity. His characters are somewhat recurring, as if he is putting himself in the shoes of different persons in different circumstances. The perils of his characters are not varied since they are from a particular temporal space and afflicted by the same duality in between their dreams and actions. Sometimes he is dangerously close to solipsism, sometimes his absurdist point of view takes a deterministic aura, sometimes he destroys himself through a rebellious urge; yet for any Camus admirer he always presents the same genius: the indefatigable dichotomy.
To understand Camus one should read him in the context of his place and time, but still, like any great man of word, there’s a distinct flavour of universality in his writing. One may dip into a Camus novel without preparing himself to read him and still would emerge as someone else after going through the vicious world of the mastermind. And that is how Camus changed the world, not merely by describing its projections and attributes, but belonging and accommodating the change within himself and within the psyches of the readers. Camus has become an integral part of anyone who even dared to gloss over the pages of any of his books; never letting the reader rid himself off him, thus creating a world sombre, ineluctable and yet dulcetly fatalistic.
- Albert Camus: A Biography (iykisuf.wordpress.com)
- What We Are Reading: The Stranger by Albert Camus (limpingdevilpress.com)
- The Christianity of Camus: Famous Atheists Who Weren’t Atheists 2 (cosmostheinlost.wordpress.com)