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Albert Camus posters


November 7, 1913

Birth Sign



5' 9¼" (1.76 m)


Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913, in Mondovi, Algeria. His parents were Spanish-French-Algerian (pied noir) colonists. His father, named Lucien Camus died in the Battle of Marne (1914) during WWI. His mother, named Catherine Helene Sintes was of Spanish origin, she was a mute deaf, due to a stroke, but she was able to read lips and worked as a cleaning lady, providing for her son, who loved her to tears.Camus studied at Algiers lycee from 1923-32, then at the University of Algiers, from where he graduated in 1936 with a degree in philosophy. While a student he joined the French Communist Party in 1934, but in 1936 he joined the 'Le Parti du Peuple Algerien' and was denounced by communists as 'Trotskyite'. He was seriously influenced by the writings of 'Andre Malraux', 'Andre Gide' and Plotinus' theory of the "One", which became Camus' graduation thesis (1936).He was rejected from the French army because of tuberculosis, which he contracted in 1930's. His first marriage to Simone Hie, a morphine addict, ended due to infidelity from both of them. read more

In 1940 Camus married a pianist and mathematician Francine Faure, whom he loved and patiently tolerated her affair with the actress María Casares. Camus and Francine Faure had twins born in 1945.During the Second World War Camus was the writer for 'Paris-Soir' magazine. He was in Paris during the Wermacht occupation, and witnessed the execution of the French communist and anti-fascist activist Gabriel Peri by the gun shot, which turned Camus' mind against the Nazi Germany. He moved to Bordeaux, where he finished his early works, 'The Stranger' and 'The Myth of Sisyphus', which opens with his famous statement about the philosophical question of suicide, and deals with the absurdity of existence in the meaningless struggle.Camus joined the French Resistance cell 'Combat' and edited the eponymous paper under the pseudonym 'Beauchard'. He reported on thr fighting when Allies liberated Paris in 1944. Camus continued his work for 'Combat' until 1947, and through this work he became acquainted with Jean-Paul Sartre. For a couple of years Camus was a member of Sartre's circle at the Cafe de Flore on the Boulevard St. Germain, but Camus' criticism of communist doctrine soon alienated Sartre. He regarded Franz Kafka and William Faulkner, whose 'Requiem for a Nun' he adopted into a play.Camus' lectures about French existentialism brought him on a 3-month tour of the United States and Canada in 1946, where he spoke at several universities. He lectured for 3 months in Brasil, Argentina and Chile in 1949, where he became sick and almost suicidal. The return of his tuberculosis forced Camus into seclusion from 1949-1951. It was during those 2 years that he crystallized his analysis of rebels and revolutions and published 'The Rebel'. The book clearly formulates his rejection of communism as well as any violent activity under various Utopian masks of 'social justice'.Albert Camus' desire for clarity and meaning in the world that offers nothing, but chaos, resulted in his work on the idea of absurdism. It was incorporated in many of his works from 'The Myth of Sisyphus' (1942), 'The Plaque' (1947), 'The Rebel' (1951), and other works. Camus' ideas resulted from his philosophic analysis of the diverse list of sources from 'Epicurus' to Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, and 'Andre Breton', as well as his own experiences in the war and his studies.His greatest work 'The Fall' (1956) presents the monologues of a self-proclaimed 'judge penitent' Clamence, whose character alludes to Zaratustra from Friedrich Nietzsche and Grand Inquisitor from the 'Karamasov Brothers' of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Camus challenges the reader with the dilemma of accepting the absurdity of our existence and/or learning how to deal with it and with the unpredictable consequences from doing something about it.Camus was the proponent of the idea of human rights. He resigned from UNESCO in 1952 in protest of the UN acceptance of Spain under 'Edgar Franco 'El General''. He protested against the Soviet crush upon the East Berlin workers in 1953, and against the Soviet repressions in Hungary in 1956. He was a steady supporter of pacifism and was in opposition to Capital Punishment. In 1957 Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.He was killed in a car accident on January 4, 1960, in the small town of Villeblevin, France, driven in the car by his publisher and close friend Michel Gallimard, who also died in the accident.

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