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Award Thursdays: Albert Camus and Absurdism

Post by: Snehith Kumbla


A French philosopher, author and journalist, the 1913-born Albert Camus was also known for the absurdism philosophy. Before his death in an automobile accident in 1960, Camus became the second-youngest recepient of the Nobel Prize in 1957. The youngest recepient of the Nobel Prize is Rudyard Kipling. Despite been associated with various labels during his lifetime, Camus rejected all such associations and tags.


Camus's writing career began during the Second World War. He published an underground newspaper called Combat then, named after the French Resisitance cell he had joined. One of the few French editors to publicly oppose the American Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic bombings, Camus left Combat when it went commercial in 1947. Forced to seclusion for two years in 1949 due to TB, the Camus' story began with the 1951 publication of The Rebel. Dripping in philosophy, the book is a rejection of communism, and dissects revolution and rebellion.


Subsequent works like The Stranger and The Plague are seen as significant additions to his philosophy of absurdism. Camus stood for human rights in the 1950's, protesting against Spanish dictatorship and criticising Soviet Union and Poland in their methods to crush workers' strike. Along with writer Arthur Koestler he wrote an essay against capital punishment.


Let us end with the nobel prize citation that said of Camus, among other things,"for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times."  

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