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Portrait from New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, 1957
7 November 1913|
Dréan, El Taref, French Algeria
4 January 1960 (aged 46)|
Villeblevin, Yonne, Burgundy, France
|Era||20th century philosophy|
|Main interests||Ethics, humanity, justice, love, politics|
Albert Camus (7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French philosopher and writer. Camus wrote novels and plays. Camus was born in Algeria, a country in North Africa. He had French parents. Camus was an existentialist philosopher. Existentialism is a philosophy that is very different from other ways of thinking. Camus won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957.
He was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, after Rudyard Kipling, and the first African-born writer to receive the award. He is the shortest-lived of any Nobel literature laureate to date, having died in an automobile accident just over two years after receiving the award.
Albert Camus was born in Algeria to a poor working class family. His mother was Spanish and his father was French. His father died in battle and he was left to live with his grandmother. When he was 17 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which was very impactful on him at that point in his life. It limited him greatly in his athletics as well as in his career opportunities, due to the fact that tuberculosis is quite contagious. For this reason he claimed that his disease “set him free” because he would have done something else with his life had he seen the opportunity. He went to the University of Algiers, where he graduated with a degree in 1935. In the 1930s, Camus became interested in politics. In 1935, Camus joined the French Communist Party, a political group. In the late 1930s, Camus was a writer for the socialist newspaper, the Alger-Republicain.
In 1941, Camus wrote his first novel, which was called The Stranger. During World War II, Camus joined the French Resistance to fight against the Nazi army. After World War II, Camus became friends with another writer called Jean-Paul Sartre. Camus and Sartre often talked about philosophy and politics in small restaurants called cafés.
Camus wrote books about philosophy (ways of thinking) which said that life was "absurd" (makes no sense, or has no meaning). In the 1950s Camus tried to improve human rights. In 1960, Camus died in a car crash. He had two children, Catherine and Jean.
Some of his novels (stories)
- The Stranger (l'étranger) (sometimes called The Outsider) (1942)
- The Plague (la peste) (1947)
- The Fall (la chute) (1956)
Some of his books about philosophy
- Betwixt and Between (1937)
- The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
- The Rebel (1951)
- Caligula (1938)
- The Misunderstanding (1944)
- State of Siege (1948)
- The Just Assassins (1949)
- The Possessed (1959)
Books about Camus
- Camus (1959) by the writer Germaine Brée
- Albert Camus, A Study of His Work (1957) by the writer Usamah Siddiqui
- Heiner Wittmann: Sartre and Camus in Aesthetics. The Challenge of Freedom. Hrsg. v. Dirk Hoeges. Dialoghi/Dialogues. Literatur und Kultur Italiens und Frankreichs, Band 13, Peter Lang, Frankfurt 2009 ISBN 978-3-631-58693-8
- Lennon, Peter (15 October 1997). Camus and His Women. UK. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/1997/oct/15/biography.albertcamus. Retrieved 1 December 2008.