Albert Camus book and philosophy of the absurd

Albert Camus book and philosophy of the absurd

The Stranger (1942) – Albert Camus (Senscritique, Amazon)

Albert Camus in this work takes us to a major period in his character’s life, the death of his mother. This leads him to question moral preconceptions and the conditions of his existence. It is an interesting fictional work to understand the author’s philosophy. Special mention to the chapter under the sun whose well-described description is full of sensations.

The foreigner has a full status in the bibliography of Camus. Both the first novel published by the author, the work is the first in the cycle of the absurd, a set of writings transcribing the philosophy of Camus.

The Righteous (1949) – Albert Camus (Senscritique, Amazon)

This play in five acts unequivocally echoes Sartre’s play “Les mains sales” whose narrative is very similar. The stake of the work revolves around the assassination of a representative of an adversary political party by an assembly of socialist revolutionaries.

The play is an opportunity for A. Camus to highlight the philosophical subjects of individual responsibility, committed action and the monopoly of violence. According to Camus, the play is based on real events that took place at the beginning of the 20th century. The play, in the themes addressed, is perfectly anchored in the debates in political philosophy of the last century.

Jonas or the artist at work (1953) – Albert Camus (Senscritique, Amazon)

Jonas or the artist at work is a short story by Albert Camus around the subject of the artist and his enigma in the face of the exercise of his Art. A criticism is also made between the professional nature of the creative act and the expression of creation. In this short story, Camus presents his vision of an artist’s career and its conclusion which leaves one thinking.

Caligula (1944) – Albert Camus (Senscritique, Amazon)

This play in four acts deals with the thunderous life of the eponymous emperor, whose vices will be highlighted and commented on by the character under the author’s pen. The quest of the emperor in search of the impossible rebellion in the face of destiny and death. The character highlights a kind of suicide through the prism of devastating self-destruction.

The play is one of four works in Albert Camus’ cycle of the absurd. This is why many parallels can be drawn between the psyche of Caligula presented during these monologues and those of the main character of The Stranger. The play perhaps represents in a more accessible way than the Stranger, the philosophy of the absurd that Camus puts forward in the essay The Myth of Sisyphus.

Le Malentendu (1944) – Albert Camus (Senscritique, Amazon)

The Misunderstanding is the last work of fiction part of the cycle of the absurd. In this shorter play in three acts, the absurd manifests itself in the incongruity of the events that lead to the death of the main character by his own family.

The theme of family relationships, love and abandonment are brought to the forefront with the lackluster and frankly pessimistic remarks of the Camusian absurdist. The characters, as many as they are, are both responsible for the actions that lead to the final outcome and are also victims of upheaval that goes beyond them. It is in this last nuance that the work separates itself from the existentialism put forward by Sartre and brings a dramatic impetus to the piece.

Plague(1947) – Albert Camus (Senscritique, Amazon)

This story will go down in history as the consecrated work of Albert Camus and will earn him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. This work joins the play Les Justes as the second work in the “cycle of revolt”.

In this novel with a narrative structure close to a classic tragedy play, Camus proposes a plague, an evocative allegory of the French occupation under the Vichy regime, whose context of tenuous threat in the shadows and impacting daily life is not not unlike contemporary events that took place during the covid-19 epidemic.

About the author

Albert Camus, of Algerian origin, is an essayist who has also worked in fictional literature with emblematic novels and short stories. He will also take on the role of a committed intellectual, in particular as an activist journalist. Close to a humanist philosophy, he opposed several dominant currents of thought of the time such as the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, Marxism and liberalism. Camus is also at the origin of a major philosophical work around his “cycle of the absurd” where he presents a relationship to the atheist world where we must learn to live.

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Maxime Macé

Simple passionné de thématiques diverses et variées. J’apprécie enrichir mes connaissances dans les disciplines techniques comme l’informatique, les sciences et l’ingénierie, mais aussi dans les domaines merveilleux de la philosophie, l’art et la littérature.

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