biography of Albert Camus  by Alexandre Tremblay

His Childhood:

Albert Camus was born in, Mondovi, Algeria, the 7th of November 1913. In this small village in the Northeast region of the country, Camus was the second child of Lucien Auguste Camus and Catherine Hélène Sintés. His father was a military veteran and he would also be an itinerant agricultural labourer when his country had no need for his services. Unfortunately, he died during World War I, on October 11, 1914; hence, Camu’s mother, who was an illiterate of Spanish origin, could only support them by performing tasks as a house-keeper and work as a part-time factory worker. Later on, she became partly deaf because of a stroke that permanently impaired her speech. With the loss of her husband, she decided to move in with Camus’s grandmother in the Belcourt area of Algiers, which was near the Arab Quarter of the city. From that point forward, Camus grew up having a close relationship with his mother.

Growing up:

Time passed and, although Albert Camus had to live in harsh poverty, he found himself to be a very fortunate student for he had an exceptional teacher in elementary school named Louis Germain. This man allowed Camus to earn a scholarship that helped him go to the Algiers Lycée in 1923. He was so thankful for his teacher’s devotion that, 34 years later, he dedicated his Nobel Prize to him. 

Continuing his journey through high school, Albert Camus had a great attraction for sports such as swimming, boxing and mostly soccer. He also discovered that his main interests were in literature, art, theatre, and film. At that time, he was learning French, Latin and English which helped him later on during the acquisition of his Bachelor degree in 1932 when he was writing articles to a literary monthly called “Sud”.  Unluckily, since he was living in poor conditions, he was struck by tuberculosis for the first time and it would not be the last either.

The next years to come were going to determine the kind of man Albert Camus was going to be. From 1933 to 1937, he had various jobs which had more or less affinities with what he wanted to do but they were going to help him pay his attendance to college; he also got married and divorced with Simone Hié, joined the Communist party for a short period, started to do professional theatre, and got his first real publications as a professional writer. Being a very versatile man, Camus managed to become a co-founder of the “Théâtre du Travail” along with his confrere intellectuals, got to be a professional actor and director and was able to contribute to the scripts, mainly in Revolt in Asturia which was a drama talking about an ill-fated worker taking part in the revolt during the Spanish Civil War.

His Works and Allegiances:

http://newcritics.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/Camus%20Photo.jpgIn 1937, he became journalist but he will have a tendency on writing in many other fields. In fact, one year later, he writes a play called “Caligula” and a series of essays entitled “Noces”. During World War II, the brilliant writer’s thoughts are going to transcend this intense part of history and will affect his works like never before; it is the case for “L’Étranger”, which was written in 1940; “Le Mythe de Sisyphe”, an essay that saw the light in 1941; and two plays written in 1944: “Le Malentendu” and “Caligula”. In 1943, being well aware of the military situation, Albert Camus joined the Resistance even if it meant he had to work clandestinely. Even though he could not publish his articles at first, they came out afterwards through the newspaper called: “Combat” until 1947. From 1948 to 1951, two other plays, “L’État de siège” and “Les Justes”, and an essay, “L’Homme révolté”, are going to help establish his prestige. The most drastic turning point of his personal philosophy appears in those days when he begins to go against certain aspects of communism; thus, separating him from his friend Jean-Paul Sartre.  Before dying from a fierce car accident while returning to Paris in 1960, Albert Camus will write two other works: “La chute” and “L’Exile et le Royaume”, and will earn the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

 

Bibliography:

·         The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “Albert Camus (1913-1960)”. Retrieved November 14th, 2007 from www.iep.utm.edu/c/camus.htm.

·        Encyclopedia Britannica online. “Albert Camus”. Retrieved November 14th, 2007 from www.britannica.com/eb/article-9019897/Albert-Camus

·        The European Graduate School. “Albert Camus”. Retrieved November 14th, 2007 from www.egs.edu/resources/camus.html

·        Lenin Imports. “Albert Camus”. Retrieved November 14th, 2007 from www.leninimports.com/albert_camus.html#partone

·        Pickering, J.H. (2007). Fiction 100: An Anthology of Short Fiction. Eleventh Edition New Jersey: Pearson Edition