Knowing Albert Camus

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Knowing Albert Camus

Albert Camus, born on November 7, 1913 in Algeria and died on January 4, 1960 in a traffic accident in the French region of Yonne, was a writer, philosopher, novelist and French playwright. He was also a militant journalist who participated in the French resistance. His works include plays, novels, stories, films, poems and essays in which he develops a humanism based on the awareness of the absurd of the human condition, but also in the revolt in response to the absurdity, a revolt that leads to actionand makes sense of the world and existence. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

The story begins with the caregiver of the DR building. Rieux that falls ill and, despite the care of the doctor, dies of an unknown disease. A man named Grand comes to see Dr. Rieux because city rats are starting to die in large numbers. At the end of the first part of the history, the authorities decide to close the city and isolate it to avoid the spread of the disease. Rambert, journalist, tries to return to Paris and Grand tries to write a book. In the city, crimes are increasing, but the inhabitants are getting used to the ravages of the epidemic. As autumn approaches, Rambert joins Rieux and Tarrou in his fight against the plague. Later, we attend the pain of a young child, who suffers an atrocious death and suffering that makes Paneloux’s consciousness and faith strengthened more than ever. In January, the plague refers, and the serum developed by Castel starts curiously to gain efficacy. Tarrou, treated by Rieux, is one of the last victims of the plague. Dies after a long fight. Cottard goes crazy and begins to shoot passersby from his floor, so he is stopped. That same day, Rieux learns that his wife, who had left Oran to be treated before the plague epidemic, has died of tuberculosis.

Albert Camus is often described as an existentialist writer, although he himself denied the term. He began his literary career as a political journalist and as an actor, director and playwright in his Native Algeria. Later, while living in France occupied during World War II, he actively participated in the resistance and, from 1944 to 1947, was editor -headed of the combat newspaper. In the middle of the century, thanks to its three novels (L’Etranger, La Peste and La Chute) and two philosophical trials of a single book (Le Mythe de Sisyphe and L’Homme Révolté), had acquired a reputation and a number of readersInternational. It was in these works where he introduced and developed the two philosophical ideas – the concept of absurd and the notion of revolt – that made him famous. These are the ideas that people think immediately when they hear the name of Albert Camus today. Camus saw the absurd as a fundamental and even defining characteristic of the modern human condition. The notion of revolt refers to both determined action and a mood. It can adopt extreme forms such as terrorism or reckless and unbridled selfish.

One of the main themes of the plague of Albert Camus is the belief, religion and presence of God. The story raises several questions associated with belief explicitly and implicitly. First, it can be perceived, through the epidemic, an image of the man’s dependence. This irruption of the disease, which contrasts with the routine of the population, translates this idea of man’s confinement into the prison of his own human condition: Camus finally denounces a captive man of his routine and his daily habits, unable to reactGiven the unknown, showing that man is unable to adapt to new situations, which he always tries to react according to his old reflexes. Tarrouu, meanwhile, is an absurd character, since he is someone who has never known the hope of reconciling with life. Grand and Rambert offer two answers that man can give to this oppressive feeling of absurd: they have given their search, their existence, one through art and the other through love. In addition, if Rambert refuses to run. Cottard. This last character symbolizes collaboration. Tarrou must disappear because faith does not cultivate in man that is necessary for the progress of life. They are those who have strong ideas that will die, such as Paneloux, who prefers to replace life rather than giving up their blind trust in God.

The priest, Father Paneloux, resorted to the ancient tradition of the Old Testament, highlighting the parallels between the events of the exodus and the current situation of the city of Oran: ‘The first time this plague appears in history is to hit theenemies of God. The symbolic image is that of the angel of the death of the biblical narration, which passes through the houses of Egypt and kills the firstborn, ‘with their left hand pointing to one of your houses’. Paneloux explicitly says that the plague represents this angel of the biblical tradition and that, therefore, there is no hope of escaping this mortal hunt: the judgment of God. The priest who seemed to have an absolute certainty of reality and existence at the beginning of the novel is forced to admit that it cannot be the spiritual guide that others wanted to follow, in fact he shares his insecurity and disorientation.

After reading this book one wonders: how can we succeed over evil? Camus does not give an answer because there is no universal solution to absurd. 

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