From 1935 until his death, Albert Camus kept a series of notebooks to sketch out ideas for future works, record snatches of conversations and excerpts from books he was reading, and jot down his reflections on death and the horror of war, his feelings about women and loneliness and art, and his appreciations for the Algerian sun and sea. These ...
From 1935 until his death, Albert Camus kept a series of notebooks to sketch out ideas for future works, record snatches of conversations and excerpts from books he was reading, and jot down his reflections on death and the horror of war, his feelings about women and loneliness and art, and his appreciations for the Algerian sun and sea. These three volumes, now available together for the first time in paperback, include all entries made from the time when Camus was still completely unknown in Europe, until he was killed in an automobile accident in 1960, at the height of his creative powers. In 1957 he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. A spiritual and intellectual autobiography, Camus' Notebooks are invariably more concerned with what he felt than with what he did. It is intriguing for the reader to watch him seize and develop certain themes and ideas, discard others that at first seemed promising, and explore different types of experience. Although the Notebooks may have served Camus as a practice ground, the prose is of superior quality, which makes a short spontaneous vignette or a moment of sensuous beauty quickly captured on the page a small work of art. Here is a record of one of the most unusual minds of our time.
The notes Camus began to write at age 22, and he continued until his death, were windows into the observant, creative and philosophical thought of one of the twentieth century's leading intellectuals. Some notations are recollections of memories of his french algerian childhood, the sea and his love of swimming, the squalid city of Oran where he lived with his Mother in poverty, his first "love", and his first elementary school teacher who recognized his potential. Other notations reveal to the reader his despairover his TB, his disappointments in love, and his seminal thoughts on existance, deism, and pantheism. But the most intriguing notes are those leading to the development of themes he used in"A Happy Death" and "the Stranger". More touching are the young man's pholosophy, "Honor is the virtue of life "...needing no celestial reward. ! These notes are gems of his introspection to be enjoyed by all !
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