Saturday, December 10, 2016

ALBERT CAMUS AND SMOKING



                                                                           

                                                                             


                                                                                     



ALBERT CAMUS AND SMOKING

Smoking has often been linked with creative genius .  I can’t affirm or deny this statement in totality. Even when French law prohibits “ The display, publicity, or advertising that explicitly or implicitly shows a person smoking” ,  Smoking  remains   an issue  for the present  Government to deal with .  France is a country where so many people still smoke, despite cigarette packages carrying a stern warning “SMOKING KILLS” in bold letters.  

France continues to have a largest number of smokers in comparison to other European countries . An estimated 350 tonnes of cigarettes are discarded on the streets of Paris each year, city officials say. And Tobacco kills more than 73,000 people in France every year, according to the Ministry of Health.

And Camus is well known to have smoked  though his lungs were emaciated by tuberculosis. It must have been clinically unwise for Camus to be smoking. Even if his doctors did not tell him so , he must have been knowing it well that smoking was bad for his poor lungs .

Camus’s  photographs , that are available on internet or in Magazines or Galleries , show him with a Cigarette or a cigar in his mouth . It implies that  Camus would always keep his lips busy with Cigarettes or Cigars . Did the smoke that wafted out from his mouth , connect him closely to his own self ? Did he he get more connected to the external world by puffing out the smoke and looking around in silence?

Once regarded as the conscience of France, Camus continues to remain a profound influence on writers , readers and intellectuals world over . What opinion do people have about his smoking ? let me say a few words .

                                                        
                                      (Albert Camus, journalist Nicole Vedres and the actress Line Noro)

 Many a writers have commented that with a   cigarette or Cigar under his lips  , Camus would feel  some what comfortable .  And that could be True since smoking or for that matter Chain smoking remained a part of his persona . Can we imagine Sherlock Holmes without his pipe, or Humphrey Bogart without his cigarette ? Can we imagine Albert Einstein without his pipe ?


 
It is said that Camus loved  smoking so much that he named his Cat  ‘Cigarette’. 

And finally we find him smoking in the car when it met with an accident that killed him and his Publisher friend Gallimard .
                                                                    

                          ( Camus with Wife Francine after he won the Nobel Prize )
                                                                             
                                                                   ( With Wife Francine )
                                                   ( With wife and children.. Jean and Catherine  )

Camus smoked Gauloises brand cigarettes . Gauloises has been part of the French identity since 1910, when it was first produced . This brand had heavy and light Variety . This was a favorite brand of Jean-Paul Sartre and George Orwell also . In France, During both the world wars, smoking Gauloises was seen as an act of patriotism.

Along with Benson and Hedges , Camel and Dunhill , this Brand was also imported by some shops in Srinagar for sale to European Tourists .

  Smoking is surely bad for Health. Many people  have put it in the Category of a Vice. And if smoking is a vice , we need to ponder over what Abraham Lincoln once said   :

"It has been my experience that those with no vices have very few virtues."

And Sigmund Freud said:

“Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss”

Smoking  and cigarettes   find mention and space in some  prominent works of camus.  Meuersult  or   the  hero of his Novel  OUTSIDER  appears to be uncertain and undecided whether he should smoke    at a place where his dead mother was kept.    Meursault also   feels for denial of smoking to him in the prison where he was kept.
Camus writes :

“Then he offered to bring me a cup of coffee with milk. I like milk in my coffee, so I said yes, and he came back a few minutes later with a tray. I drank the coffee. Then I felt like having a smoke. But I hesitated, because I didn’t know if I could do it with Maman right there. I thought about it; it didn’t matter. I offered the caretaker a cigarette and we smoked.”

“ I couldn’t understand why they had taken [the cigarettes] away when they didn’t hurt anybody. Later on I realized that that too was part of the punishment. But by then I had gotten used to not smoking and it wasn’t a punishment anymore”

“I didn’t like having to explain to them, so I just shut up, smoked a cigarette, and looked at the sea.”



( Autar Mota )

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1 comment:

  1. as well as another as soon as she got home in the afternoon, but she was finding it increasingly difficult to get through the school day without smoking. vape shop near me

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