Albert Camus: From the Absurd to Revolt by John Foley

By John Foley

Adopting an interdisciplinary method, encompassing philosophy, literature, politics and historical past, John Foley examines the entire breadth of Camus' rules to supply a accomplished and rigorous learn of his political and philosophical inspiration and an important contribution to a number of debates present in Camus learn. Foley argues that the coherence of Camus' suggestion can most sensible be understood via a radical realizing of the techniques of 'the absurd' and 'revolt' in addition to the relation among them. This e-book encompasses a designated dialogue of Camus' writings for the newspaper Combat, a scientific research of Camus' dialogue of the ethical legitimacy of political violence and terrorism, a reassessment of the existing postcolonial critique of Camus' humanism, and a sustained research of Camus' most crucial and regularly ignored paintings, L'Homme révolté (The Rebel).

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53 Perhaps the most dramatic of these encounters is with the prison chaplain, who tells Meursault, towards the end of the novel, of his “certainty” regarding the success of his appeal against his sentence (curiously, he also admits to Meursault on the same occasion that he “knows nothing about” his appeal) (TO: 113, 111; TRN: 1206, 1205). The chaplain informs Meursault that he is “burdened with a sin from which [he] must free [himself]”. Meursault replies that he “didn’t know what a sin was”, that he had “simply been told that [he] was guilty”: “I was guilty and I was paying for it and there was nothing more that could be asked of me” (TO: 113; TRN: 1206–7).

Camus certainly attempts to set a limit to the implications of the absurd, and had claimed as early as 1938, reviewing Sartre’s novel Nausea, that the “realisation that life is absurd cannot be an end in itself but only a beginning” (SEN: 167–9; E: 1417–19). qxd 10/09/2008 10:43 AM Page 28 28 ALBERT CAMUS negate”, the absurd, in contrast, we are told, “does not liberate, it binds. It does not authorize all actions”; it “merely confers an equivalence on the consequences of those actions”. It “does not recommend crime, for this would be childish, but it restores to remorse its futility” (R: 57–8; E: 467; MS: 65; E: 149–50.

In October he wrote an editorial in Combat that reflected his thinking at this point in time: “France is carrying in her midst a foreign body, a minority of men who harmed her in the past and harm her still today. These are men of betrayal and injustice.

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