Two books by Albert Camus

Two books by Albert Camus
Two books by Albert Camus

The French-Algerian writer Albert Camus was born on the African continent, in Algeria, in Mondavi, province of Constantina, on November 7, 1913; and died in an automobile accident in Villeblevin, France, on January 4, 1960.

Although he died prematurely, Camus lived long enough to leave a dense legacy of high quality, notably: the master’s dissertation on Neoplatonism, the doctoral thesis on Saint Augustine, journalistic articles, plays, novels and essays; He was justly awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

Among his works, they were translated into Portuguese and published under the following titles: “A morte feliz”; “The plague”; “The fall”; “Caligula” (play in 4 acts); “Letters to a German Friend”; “State of siege”; “Nuptials”; “The revolted man”; “The Righteous” (play in 5 acts); “Reverse and Right”; “The misunderstanding”; “The summer”; “The exile and the kingdom”; and “Reflections on the guillotine”.

The first contact I had with Camus’ work took place in September 1985, when, at the suggestion of a friend, I purchased two books: the novel “The Foreigner”, released in 1942 under the title “L’Étranger”; and “The myth of Sisyphus: an essay on the absurd”, a work released in 1943 under the title “Le Mythe de Sisyphe”, a reference to the unfortunate character of Greek mythology.

In “The Myth of Sisyphus”, Camus began the book with the following sentence: “There is only one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide”. And he continues: “To judge whether or not life is worth living is to answer a fundamental question of philosophy”.

In my understanding, in addition to the philosophical issue, having one’s own life goes through other religious, ethical and economic biases, to name just three.

Thus, as it involves several approaches, it would not be appropriate to present the arguments of my disagreement in this space, which may be done on another occasion.

As for “The Stranger”, Jean-Paul Sartre, in the introduction to the copy that I keep on my shelf, stated: “it is a classic work, an ordered work, composed on the subject of the absurd and against the absurd”. In the Livros do Brasil Lisboa Edition, the first part is divided into 6 chapters and the second into 5.

In the first part, in the first paragraph of chapter 1, the controversial character of the narrator/character’s personality, called Meursault, is perceived: “Today, the mother died. Or maybe yesterday, I’m not sure. I received a telegram from the asylum: “Your mother died. Burial tomorrow. Condolences.” This doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.”

Oblivious to circumstances and life itself, Meursault reflects the absurdity of emptiness and indifference; a being who lives on the fringes of reality, who behaves like a double of himself; a foreigner in his own land. Someone who, in the midst of the society that condemns him, accepts to die for his truth.

In June 2010, at the Cine Teatro do SESC, in Campina Grande-PB, I had the opportunity to revisit “The Foreigner”. This time, when watching the good theatrical adaptation made by Morten Kirkskov: a monologue, directed by Vera Holtz and Guilherme Leme, who also played the role of the narrator/character.

When rereading the aforementioned books and recalling the monologue about “The Stranger”, my sensitivity brushed my skin and I realized that art, like life, unlike what Sartre said, is not a useless generosity.

“One must imagine Sisyphus happy”.


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: books Albert Camus

NEXT DC BOOKS | 10/01 – Trade Journal
-

-

-

-