Friday, February 9, 2018





Catherine Camus brings out a 1300 hundred page book that has about 860 Love letters exchanged by her father Camus and Actress Maria .

Maria was an exile . Her family had moved out from Spain during the Spanish civil war and had decided to settle in France. She was 21 and he 30 when they first met in 1944. It was wartime ( IInd world war ) and France was under Nazi occupation.

She , a talented and independent minded actress , and he, a writer and Editor of the underground Newspaper combat . 

One day, Camus brought Casares to a dinner hosted by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Simone de Beauvour had remarked :

" She is Beautiful and confident"

In 1944 , Many friends saw Camus driving a bicycle down Paris Boulevard with Maria on Handlebars .

In 1950, Camus wrote to her :

“ We are tied to one another by Bonds of Earth , Intelligence , Heart and Flesh . Nothing , I Know can surprise or separate us. “

And Maria wrote back :

“ Do You realize what happiness we have, and what has been given to us . We met , we recognized each other , we abandoned ourselves one to the other . “

After Allied forces won and Nazis left France , Camus’s wife came from Oran ( Algeria ) to live with him . Maria had already given him an ultimatum . Camus may not have believed in the institution of marriage yet he opted for his married life and went to live with his wife Francine Faure who was pianist and a Mathematician. 

                                                     ( Camus with his wife Francine )
Through this new Book , Catherine makes all that secret aspect of Camus’s 15 years (1944 -1959 ) steaming relation with actress Maria open. They exchanged hundreds of letters even when Camus had children( son Jean and Daughter Catherine) and lived as a family man.
Maria acted in many of his plays .
And Francine knew all and that was possibly the reason of her slipping into bouts of depression . About this depression, Heims, Neil in his book "Biography of Albert Camus", writes:
"In 1953, Francine's pain at Camus's indifference and her unreciprocated love became overwhelming. It was expressed in a depression that grew in severity into a full blown illness which included a suicide attempt and severe withdrawal, staring straight ahead and repeating the name Maria Casarès. Francine was hospitalized and subject to more than thirty electroshock treatments."
Both Camus and Maria kept shining like bright stars in their respective professions ; She in acting and he as writer . After being cheered lustily for her performance in Buenos Aires in 1956 by a crowd of 3600 , Maria wrote to Camus :

“ I uttered a few words of thanks but kept thinking of you only “

After Receiving Nobel Prize for literature in 1957, Camus sent a Telegram to Maria and wrote :

“ I have never missed you as much as I did today “
Some days before his fatal accident, Camus wrote to Maria:

. "I send a cargo of tender wishes, and may life splash up inside you all year long, giving you that dear expression that I've loved for so many years, but I love your face when it' s worried or any other way. See you soon, my superb one, I'm so happy at the idea of seeing you again that I am laughing as I write it... I kiss you and hug you tightly until Tuesday when I can start all over again."

After Camus died in the fatal road accident , Maria suffered severe depression. She married her friend and Singer Andre Schlesser. She was 74 when she died in 1996.

To Camus lovers , I pose a question:

Does Camus hide himself in his novel "THE FALL" ?

Maria and Camus lived mostly separated from one another. Now that these letters are out, the collection may provide a sense of their togetherness to Camus fans . This collection will also trace their beautiful love story that remains unknown to world at large.

I end this post with a Camus quote:

" Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend ."

( Autar Mota )

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.