Edited by Philip Thody, translated by Ellen Conroy Kennedy.
"Here now, for the first time in a complete English translation, we have Camus' three little volumes of essays, plus a selection of his critical comments on literature and his own place in it. As might be expected, the main interest of these writings is that they illuminate new facets of his usual subject matter."--The New York Times Book Review
"...a new single work for American readers that stands among the very finest."--The Nation
In the speech he gave upon accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, Albert Camus said that a writer "cannot serve today those who make history; he must serve those who are subject to it." And in these twenty-three political essays, he demonstrates his commitment to history's victims, from the fallen maquis of the French Resistance to the casualties of the Cold War.
Resistance, Rebellion and Death displays Camus' rigorous moral intelligence addressing issues that range from colonial warfare in Algeria to the social cancer of capital punishment. But this stirring book is above all a reflection on the problem of freedom, and, as such, belongs in the same tradition as the works that gave Camus his reputation as the conscience of our century: The Stranger, The Rebel, and The Myth of Sisyphus.
Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.
A haunting tale of human resilience in the face of unrelieved horror, Camus' novel about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature.
These six stories, written at the height of Camus' artistic powers, all depict people at decisive, revelatory moments in their lives. Translated by Justin O'Brien.
By one of the most profoundly influential thinkers of our century, The Rebel is a classic essay on revolution. For Albert Camus, the urge to revolt is one of the "essential dimensions" of human nature, manifested in man's timeless Promethean struggle against the conditions of his existence, as well as the popular uprisings against established orders throughout history. And yet, with an eye toward the French Revolution and its regicides and deicides, he shows how inevitably the course of revolution leads to tyranny. As old regimes throughout the world collapse, The Rebel resonates as an ardent, eloquent, and supremely rational voice of conscience for our tumultuous times.
Translated from the French by Anthony Bower.
One of the most influential works of this century, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought. Influenced by works such as Don Juan and the novels of Kafka, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide; the question of living or not living in a universe devoid of order or meaning. With lyric eloquence, Albert Camus brilliantly posits a way out of despair, reaffirming the value of personal existence, and the possibility of life lived with dignity and authenticity.
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