Albert Camus at 100

Happy 100th to Albert Camus, who made art of rebellion and rendered the absurd lucid.

Camus for blog F&O
Photo: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (United States Library of Congress).

Camus the writer left a trove of ideas. Excerpts from The Plague/La Peste:

“We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men, we still want to serve them.” 

– – –

“What on earth prompted you to take a hand in this?”
“I don’t know. My… my code of morals, perhaps.”
“Your code of morals. What code, if I may ask?”

Camus the man — whose death at 46 in a car crash sparked conspiracy theories — left memories no less complicated: Serious Artist, philanderer, romantic pop icon.

“His austere search for moral order found its aesthetic correlative in the classicism of his art. He was a stylist of great purity and intense concentration and rationality,” stated his biography in Nobel Lectures, after he was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Camus’ own image, captured in numerous photographs complete with the ubiquitous Gaulouise cigarette dangling from his lips, has become the very picture of the intellectual 1950s French literary type,” wrote Tony Todd in France 24 today.