Albert Camus: A Life

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9780786707393: Albert Camus: A Life

In this vibrant, engaging biography of Albert Camus, the internationally acclaimed author of The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall, French writer and journalist Olivier Todd has richly tapped resources never before available—personal correspondence, notebooks, public records, as well as exclusive interviews with Camus's family, friends, fellow workers, mentors, and lovers. What emerges is the study of a man caught in conflicts between family loyalties and his own passionate nature, between the call to political action and devotion to his art, between his support of the native Algerians and his identification with the forgotten poor whites. Exploring Camus's impoverished childhood in the Algerian city of Belcourt, his underground activities during the Occupation in Paris, the intrigues of the French literati who embraced him after the publication of his first novel, L'Etranger, Todd uncovers the solitary private man behind the mask of his celebrity. He shows us a writer isolated by his own success, crippled by the charms of women he could not resist, debilitated by the tuberculosis that did not kill him. The auto accident that did adds only to the ironies in the life of this international giant of twentieth-century literature.

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Olivier Todd's biography of Albert Camus matches its subject's depth by portraying the man as well as the moralist. Born in Algeria and raised in poverty by an illiterate mother, Camus never forgot where he came from. He made his name in Nazi-occupied Paris--publicly as the author of The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus, covertly as a member of the Resistance and editor of its newspaper, Combat--but he longed for the North African sun of his youth. During the years of crisis when Algeria struggled to break free from France, Camus alienated both colonialists and revolutionaries by supporting full equality for Arabs but denouncing terrorism. "I believe in justice," he told an Algerian heckler at a 1957 meeting he addressed in Stockholm after winning the Nobel Prize. "But I will defend my mother before justice." It is this preference for the concrete over the abstract that makes Camus such an appealing thinker. Todd's biography, which offers the most fully human depiction yet, is equally engaging.

From the Inside Flap:

In this enormously engaging, vibrant, and richly researched biography of Albert Camus, the French writer and journalist Olivier Todd has drawn on personal correspondence, notebooks, and public records never before tapped, as well as interviews with Camus's family, friends, fellow workers, writers, mentors, and lovers.

Todd shows us a Camus who struggled all his life with irreconcilable conflicts--between his loyalty to family and his passionate nature, between the call to political action and the integrity to his art, between his support of the native Algerians and his identification with the forgotten people, the poor whites. A very private man, Camus could be charming and prickly, sincere and theatrical, genuinely humble, yet full of great ambition.

Todd paints a vivid picture of the time and place that shaped Camus--his impoverished childhood in the Algerian city of Belcourt, the sea and the sun and the hot sands that he so loved (he would always feel an exile elsewhere), and the educational system that nurtured him. We see the forces that lured him into communism, and his attraction to the theater and to journalism as outlets for his creativity.

The Paris that Camus was inevitably drawn to is one that Todd knows intimately, and he brings alive the war years, the underground activities that Camus was caught up in during the Occupation and the bitter postwar period, as well as the intrigues of the French literati who embraced Camus after his first novel, L'Etranger, was published. Todd is also keenly attuned to the French intellectual climate, and as he takes Camus's measure as a successful novelist, journalist, playwright and director, literary editor, philosopher, he also reveals the temperament in the writer that increasingly isolated him and crippled his reputation in the years before his death and for a long time after. He shows us the solitary man behind the mask--debilitated by continuing bouts of tuberculosis, constantly drawn to irresistible women, and deeply troubled by his political conflicts with the reigning French intellectuals, particularly by the vitriol of his former friend Sartre over the Algerian conflict.

Filled with sharp observations and sparkling with telling details, here is a wonderfully human portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning writer, who died at the age of forty-six and who remains one of the most influential literary figures of our time.

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Book Description Carroll Graf Publishers Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this vibrant, engaging biography of Albert Camus, the internationally acclaimed author of The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall, French writer and journalist Olivier Todd has richly tapped resources never before availablepersonal correspondence, notebooks, public records, as well as exclusive interviews with Camus s family, friends, fellow workers, mentors, and lovers. What emerges is the study of a man caught in conflicts between family loyalties and his own passionate nature, between the call to political action and devotion to his art, between his support of the native Algerians and his identification with the forgotten poor whites. Exploring Camus s impoverished childhood in the Algerian city of Belcourt, his underground activities during the Occupation in Paris, the intrigues of the French literati who embraced him after the publication of his first novel, L Etranger, Todd uncovers the solitary private man behind the mask of his celebrity. He shows us a writer isolated by his own success, crippled by the charms of women he could not resist, debilitated by the tuberculosis that did not kill him. The auto accident that did adds only to the ironies in the life of this international giant of twentieth-century literature. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780786707393

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Book Description Carroll Graf Publishers Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In this vibrant, engaging biography of Albert Camus, the internationally acclaimed author of The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall, French writer and journalist Olivier Todd has richly tapped resources never before availablepersonal correspondence, notebooks, public records, as well as exclusive interviews with Camus s family, friends, fellow workers, mentors, and lovers. What emerges is the study of a man caught in conflicts between family loyalties and his own passionate nature, between the call to political action and devotion to his art, between his support of the native Algerians and his identification with the forgotten poor whites. Exploring Camus s impoverished childhood in the Algerian city of Belcourt, his underground activities during the Occupation in Paris, the intrigues of the French literati who embraced him after the publication of his first novel, L Etranger, Todd uncovers the solitary private man behind the mask of his celebrity. He shows us a writer isolated by his own success, crippled by the charms of women he could not resist, debilitated by the tuberculosis that did not kill him. The auto accident that did adds only to the ironies in the life of this international giant of twentieth-century literature. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780786707393

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Book Description Carroll Graf Publishers Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this vibrant, engaging biography of Albert Camus, the internationally acclaimed author of The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall, French writer and journalist Olivier Todd has richly tapped resources never before availablepersonal correspondence, notebooks, public records, as well as exclusive interviews with Camus s family, friends, fellow workers, mentors, and lovers. What emerges is the study of a man caught in conflicts between family loyalties and his own passionate nature, between the call to political action and devotion to his art, between his support of the native Algerians and his identification with the forgotten poor whites. Exploring Camus s impoverished childhood in the Algerian city of Belcourt, his underground activities during the Occupation in Paris, the intrigues of the French literati who embraced him after the publication of his first novel, L Etranger, Todd uncovers the solitary private man behind the mask of his celebrity. He shows us a writer isolated by his own success, crippled by the charms of women he could not resist, debilitated by the tuberculosis that did not kill him. The auto accident that did adds only to the ironies in the life of this international giant of twentieth-century literature. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780786707393

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