Tag Archives: Albert Camus

Albert Camus Centenary

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Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Albert Camus: writer, philosopher, and another of my idols. This quote is from The Rebel, and it seems as appropriate today as it was in 1951.

One might think that a period which, in a space of fifty years, uproots, enslaves, or kills seventy million human beings should be condemned out of hand. But its culpability must still be understood… In more ingenuous times, when the tyrant razed cities for his own greater glory, when the slave chained to the conqueror’s chariot was dragged through the rejoicing streets, when enemies were thrown to the wild beasts in front of the assembled people, the mind did not reel before such unabashed crimes, and the judgment remained unclouded. But slave camps under the flag of freedom, massacres justified by philanthropy or by a taste for the superhuman, in one sense cripple judgment. On the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence — through a curious transposition peculiar to our times — it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself.

The 50th anniversary of the death of Albert Camus

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the untimely death of Albert Camus, one of my favorite writers and philosophers. He perished as a passenger in a car accident on this date in 1960.

Camus said, in Lyrical and Critical Essays:

Accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience: it should not become a dead end. It arouses a revolt that can become fruitful.

In The Plague:

The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole men are more good than bad; that, however, isn’t the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. There can be no true goodness, nor true love, without the utmost clear-sightedness.

Update

The Daily Mirror blog has an image of the Los Angeles Times announcement of Camus’ death in this post, “Matt Weinstock, Jan. 4, 1960″. Scroll down a bit to view.

Top 25 Favorite Writers

Much like for my favorite movies, here is a list of my Top 25 favorite writers.

  1. Vladimir Nabokov
  2. Ray Bradbury
  3. JRR Tolkien
  4. Kurt Vonnegut
  5. Douglas Adams
  6. Ursula K Le Guin
  7. Mark Twain

The rest in alphabetical order by last name:

  • Charlotte Brontë
  • Emily Brontë
  • Albert Camus
  • Raymond Chandler
  • Umberto Eco
  • James Ellroy
  • William Gibson
  • Spalding Gray
  • Franz Kafka
  • Milan Kundera
  • George Orwell
  • Dorothy Parker
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Muriel Spark
  • Bram Stoker
  • Jules Verne
  • Edith Wharton
  • HG Wells

Honorable Mentions

  • Jane Austen
  • Robert Benchley
  • George Carlin
  • Philip K Dick
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Jack Kerouac
  • Flannery O’Connor
  • William Shakespeare
  • Mary Shelley
  • Neal Stephenson
  • John Steinbeck
  • Bruce Sterling
  • Hunter S Thompson
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Oscar Wilde
  • PG Wodehouse