Camus : A Life by Olivier Todd, Benjamin Ivry
(Translator), Clivier Todd.
Olivier Todd's biography of Albert Camus
matches its subject's depth by portraying the man as well as the
moralist. Born in Algeria and raised in poverty by an illiterate
mother, Camus never forgot where he came from. He made his name
in Nazi-occupied Paris--publicly as the author of The
Stranger and The
Myth of Sisyphus, covertly as a member of the Resistance
and editor of its newspaper, Combat--but he longed for
the North African sun of his youth. During the years of crisis
when Algeria struggled to break free from France, Camus
alienated both colonialists and revolutionaries by supporting
full equality for Arabs but denouncing terrorism. "I
believe in justice," he told an Algerian heckler at a 1957
meeting he addressed in Stockholm after winning the Nobel Prize.
"But I will defend my mother before justice." It is
this preference for the concrete over the abstract that makes
Camus such an appealing thinker. Todd's biography, which offers
the most fully human depiction yet, is equally engaging...
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