Albert Camus Faced The Human Condition With Clarity

Morten Høi Jensen at Commonweal:

In what would tragically turn out to be the last years of his life, Camus returned imaginatively to the landscape of his youth—a landscape that, because of the Algerian War, was not accessible to him in the way it once had been. In 1958, he agreed to a French edition of The Wrong Side and the Right Side, republished by Gallimard. The timing was significant. “I still live with the idea that my work has not even begun,” Camus wrote in his preface to the new edition. It was an odd claim for a writer who had just been given the Nobel Prize for Literature, but Camus was more troubled by the award than he was honored by it. Pained by the war in his native Algeria, shunned by Parisian intellectuals for his critique of the revolutionary Left, he feared he was finished as a writer—a fear that the Nobel Prize, which usually honors work done over a long career, only served to heighten. Refusing an interview with the newspaper L’Express, Camus explained that he wanted the noise and publicity surrounding the award to die away quickly. “I want to disappear for a while,” he said. To his friend Roger Quinox, he seemed “like someone buried alive.”

more here.