The Thought and Art of Albert Camus

The Thought and Art of Albert Camus

The Thought and Art of Albert Camus

The Thought and Art of Albert Camus

Excerpt

Albert Camus has now come into his own as one of the most prophetic, persuasive, and hopeful moral philosophers of the mid-20th century. It is not simply that he has assumed a central and highly influential role in the thought and letters of present day France, for this has been an accomplished fact for some time already; rather, it is now the case that the works of Albert Camus are eagerly awaited everywhere and are translated almost as soon as they first come into print. His significance is no longer just that of a Frenchman or even a European; it goes far beyond that. He'is a world figure.

But, curious enough, it is also true to say that Camus is one of the most controversial and least understood of contemporary thinkers. The utter honesty with which he has accepted "his times," shared its destruction and nihilism, its fevered dream of happiness and universal peace--this honesty seems at first to be strange and incomprehensible. He has taken the mask off of recent history and shown us a world which we can recognize only with difficulty, perhaps because what he shows us is so intimately our own world. In France Camus has already inspired four different books explicating and interpreting his thought and art, and this is in addition to a small mountain of critical articles which have appeared continuously since about 1945. In England and the United States there have also been critical articles on Camus, and recently, full length studies have begun to appear. In the same proportion there is not, perhaps even among his admirers, a very far-reaching understanding in the English world of the full import of Camus'

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