A Happy Death by Albert Camus

By Albert Camus

In his first novel, a contented loss of life, written while he used to be in his early twenties and retrieved from his deepest papers following his demise in 1960, Albert Camus laid the basis for The Stranger, focusing in either works on an Algerian clerk who kills a guy in chilly blood. yet he additionally printed himself to an quantity that he by no means may in his later fiction. For if a cheerful demise is the research of a rule-bound being shattering the fetters of his life, it's also a remarkably candid portrait of its writer as a tender man.

As the radical follows the protagonist, Patrice Mersault, to his victim's condo -- after which, fleeing, in a trip that takes him via phases of exile, hedonism, privation, and demise -it supplies us a glimpse into the mind's eye of 1 of the good writers of the 20th century. For this is the younger Camus himself, in love with the ocean and solar, enraptured by means of girls but disdainful of romantic love, and already formulating the philosophy of motion and ethical accountability that will make him relevant to the concept of our time.

Translated from the French by way of Richard Howard

Purchased from the Google Play bookstall (hence the 2012 ebook date). Unaltered aside from the removing of the DRM.

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Extra resources for A Happy Death

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10 It is an irony that in 1957, as Camus was achieving worldwide recognition as the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, he was becoming increasingly isolated from his fellow writers in France. Neither his anti-communism nor his refusal to back the cause of Algerian nationalism had made him popular with those who set the tone in Parisian intellectual circles at that time. His famous but awkward remark made to an Algerian interlocutor in Stockholm – ‘Je crois a` la justice, mais je d´efendrai ma m`ere avant la justice’ (Ess, 1882) (‘I believe in justice, but will defend my mother before 22 Camus: a life lived in critical times justice’) – dealt a final blow to his already damaged reputation as a progressive intellectual.

Camus opposed Italian 15 i e m e va n d e r p o e l fascism’s call for a new Rome that would emulate ancient Roman imperial grandeur by once again radiating greatness across the Mediterranean, the Mare Nostrum (‘Our Sea’). By dismissing Mussolini’s revivalism, he exhorted his fellow citizens to save the Mediterranean from the Italian fascists. Instead of Mussolini’s dream of the supremacy of a Latin culture which would match that of Hitler’s Germania, Camus invited his audience to recall yet another aspect of a glorious past: that of al-Andalus, in which the different ethnic and religious groups from Spain and the Arab-Muslim Mediterranean had been united.

By the age of sixteen, in the classe de premi`ere, he was beginning to explore outside the school syllabus, and that was the year his uncle Gustave Acault lent him Andr´e Gide’s Les Nourritures terrestres (Fruits of the Earth). Gide’s lyrical celebration of heady, sensual pleasure did not immediately speak to him. ‘A Alger, a` seize ans, j’´etais satur´e de ces richesses; j’en souhaitais d’autres, sans doute’ (Ess, 1117) (‘In Algiers, at sixteen, I was saturated with these riches; no doubt I was looking for something else’).

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