Tuesday, November 12, 2013



Albert camus
( 1913-1960 )


“Autumn is second spring when every leaf is a flower ”
(Albert Camus )

Albert Camus ( Born 7th November 1913 ) would have been 100 years old this year had he not died in the tragic road accident in 1960 .To my readers i would inform that Albert camus died in a road accident On January 4, 1960 more than  five decades  back. Camus was seated in a Facel-Vega sports car with publisher friend Michel Gallimard ,Gallimard's wife and daughter, travelling from Provence to Paris. His family followed him in another car . Outside the village of Petit Villemomble, the car slid off the wet and slippery road and hit a tree .The car must have been in great speed . This accident also killed his publisher and close friend Michel Gallimard.

Camus ( pronounced as Kamoo ) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 and happened to be the second youngest recipient of this prize. For sometime , he considered not accepting it. He felt that  it would have  adverse  impact his writing.

He was a life long smoker and  was always seen holding a cigarette in his hand.. And he wrote most of his books in a standing posture .

My favourite books by this author are..
1 Outsider
2 The Plague
3 The fall.

Camus built and established his reputation as a writer with these three novels , L'Etranger ( Outsider ),La Peste ( The Plague )and La Chute ( The fall ).

Outsider remains my all time faourite . I keep reading this book as and when i lay my hands on it . Possibly the book has special magical quality that attracts me repeatedly .This novel has twice been adapted into film, once by Italian director Luchino Visconti and again by Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz. The book surely disturbs the reader while making him to ponder over some serious questions with regard to existence . I shall not say more but would suggest every lover of literature to give this book just one reading.

Everyone knows that camus was brought up in extreme poverty and we also know all other stories about his recurring Tuberculosis attacks. His love for Football was deep and philosophical. He played as Goalkeeper and remained an avid Football fan all along his life.
Some one has uploaded  an interview of Camus on You tube. The interview is in French and Camus is possibly watching his favourite game FOOTBALL .Thanks to this great effort , i also saw Camus speaking and also observed his body language .

(Albert Camus (right) with the actors Jean-Louis Barrault and María Casares in Paris( October 1948.) 

Marcelle Maasela who runs the Camus centre informs us that he remains the most read writer in France presently . Those who do not know him are perhaps missing something very  important in literature . Those who never had the glimpse of the Character Meursault he created in his Novel Outsider, perhaps missed a simple earthly Character devoid of heroic deeds living under the sun truthfully . A man who has put himself in the company of truth alone .Truth ,the only God he knows and for whom he is prepared to die happily.

Apart from existential issues , Camus also presents a mother son relation in his novel Outsider . Many are tempted to call the central character Meursault of this novel as camus himself. Some have labeled him as a pessimist . Be it that but surely his pessimism is born out of a living .It is an experience that has been lived and faced . It makes you feel the mastery of this writer over human feelings as they would appear in various situations. Many critics have commented on Meursault's taking food and smoking after coming to know about death of his mother as inhuman acts . Meursault 's refusal to see the face of his dead mother in the mortuary is also construed as an act of a man unworthy of living in a civilized society .He is thus condemned .

Camus's mother in real life was an illiterate lady of Spanish origin . His father was killed in the war when Camus was barely one year old. His mother did odd jobs and mostly worked as unskilled labour . The family lived in extrreme poverty in Algeira ,a french colony at that time.Once a journalist asked him which words were close to his heart . To this camus replied "earth, sky , Sunshine , Mother , man in contact , Poverty and human dignity ." Camus spent many silent moments with his mother . He understood her pain and suffering . Both had reached a level of understanding where nothing needed to be communicated by words .I have seen many photographs of camus with his mother , wife and children holidaying together . Contrary to common beliefs , camus did everything in real life to make her happy .

Camus was also somewhat impressed by Budhist philosophy and Marxism but later he denied it in many interviews .He opposed capital punishment anywhere in the world and joined Arthur Koestler in his LEAGUE AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT .

Camus was labeled  as an ‘existentialist,’ and he was deeply influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard and Fyodor Dostoyesky . Surprisingly , he personally disliked being labeled as an existentialist. Later , he also detested being linked with Absurdism.

His daughter Catherine Camus has done great work not only in preserving her father’s legacy but also in making his ideas known to younger generation of readers World over.

I have much more to say on Camus . May be next time …PEACE BE TO HIS SOUL….

“ In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that…In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
(Albert Camus )

(Autar Mota 11/11/2013 )

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  1. Thank you for this post. Do you know the source of the Invincible Summer letter?

  2. Thanks Kelly. The invincible summer quote is from Camus's essay "Return to Tipasa,"


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