A Happy Death

Camus, Albert

Published by Knopf, 1972
ISBN 10: 0394472624 / ISBN 13: 9780394472621
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New York. 1972. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. Translated from the French by Richard Howard. 192 pages. hardcover. Jacket photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. 0394472624. keywords: Literature Translated France. inventory # 1971. FROM THE PUBLISHER - This is Albert Camus’s first novel, written between 1936 and 1938, and now in 1972 published for the first time in English, following by less than a year its initial appearance in France. It is a work of his early twenties, a time when he was beginning to develop the philosophical and literary consciousness that eventually spoke so eloquently to the postwar generation. In many interesting ways A HAPPY DEATH foreshadows THE STRANGER. But its most striking difference—beyond its differences of plot and intention—is that here Camus reveals more of himself than in his later, more mythic fiction. He seems very close to his protagonist. Through the young Patrice one feels in touch with the young Camus—his joy in the sea, sun, and open skies of his native Algeria, his relationships with women, his need of them and his detachment from them, the intense alienation he experienced as a traveler in Central Europe, his sense of the ways in which poverty can nourish or destroy. And it is from his own early intimations of death, movingly evoked, that this novel draws the concern—how is one to live in order to have a happy death, the right death—which is at the root of its drama. A HAPPY DEATH is translated by Richard Howard. It is the first of the ‘cahiers’ that Camus left unpublished and whose publication will complete his literary oeuvre. Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria, in 1913. In occupied France in 1942 he published THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS and THE STRANGER, a philosophical essay and a novel that first brought him to the attention of intellectual circles. Among his other major writings are the essay THE REBEL and three widely praised works of fiction, THE PLAGUE, THE FALL, AND THE EXILE AND THE KINGDOM. He also published a volume of plays, CALIGULA AND THREE OTHER PLAYS, as well as various dramatic adaptations. In 1957 Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. On January 4, 1960, he was killed in an automobile accident. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Is it possible to die a happy death?This is the central question of Camus's astonishing early novel, published posthumously and greeted as a major literary event. It tells the story of a young Algerian, Mersault, who defies society's rules by committing a murder and escaping punishment, then experimenting with different ways of life and finally dying a happy man. In many ways A Happy Death is a fascinating first sketch for The Outsider, but it can also be seen as a candid self-portrait, drawing on Camus's memories of his youth, travels and early relationships. It is infused with lyrical descriptions of the sun-drenched Algiers of his childhood - the place where, eventually, Mersault is able to find peace and die 'without anger, without hatred, without regret'.

From the Inside Flap: In his first novel, A Happy Death, written when he was in his early twenties and retrieved from his private papers following his death in I960, Albert Camus laid the foundation for The Stranger, focusing in both works on an Algerian clerk who kills a man in cold blood. But he also revealed himself to an extent that he never would in his later fiction. For if A Happy Death is the study of a rule-bound being shattering the fetters of his existence, it is also a remarkably candid portrait of its author as a young man.
As the novel follows the protagonist, Patrice Mersault, to his victim's house -- and then, fleeing, in a journey that takes him through stages of exile, hedonism, privation, and death -it gives us a glimpse into the imagination of one of the great writers of the twentieth century. For here is the young Camus himself, in love with the sea and sun, enraptured by women yet disdainful of romantic love, and already formulating the philosophy of action and moral responsibility that would make him central to the thought of our time.
Translated from the French by Richard Howard

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Happy Death
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 1972
Binding: hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.

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Book Description Knopf. Book Condition: Very Good. Light to moderate shelf wear. Complete. No apparent underlining/highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 882115

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Book Description A. A. Knopf, NY, 1972. Hardcover. First U.S., x-library. Jacket is unclipped, unmarked, unchipped, and not worn. Book has library stamps, and brownish tape stains on the cloth from library jacketing. Also a pocket removal stain. Sort of important issuance, this being his first novel and also its first appearance in English, some 35 years after it was written. French first was not published until 1971. Fair copy in a very Good dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 78

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