Albert Camus: From the Absurd to Revolt by John Foley

By John Foley

Adopting an interdisciplinary strategy, encompassing philosophy, literature, politics and background, John Foley examines the total breadth of Camus' rules to supply a finished and rigorous examine of his political and philosophical inspiration and an important contribution to more than a few debates present in Camus examine. Foley argues that the coherence of Camus' suggestion can most sensible be understood via an intensive knowing of the thoughts of 'the absurd' and 'revolt' in addition to the relation among them. This publication incorporates a designated dialogue of Camus' writings for the newspaper Combat, a scientific research of Camus' dialogue of the ethical legitimacy of political violence and terrorism, a reassessment of the present postcolonial critique of Camus' humanism, and a sustained research of Camus' most vital and regularly missed paintings, L'Homme révolté (The Rebel).

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Additional info for Albert Camus: From the Absurd to Revolt

Example text

Clearly then, had he refused, he would have done so on the grounds of moral beliefs he didn’t actually possess. 39 Once we situate Meursault within the context of the absurd we can begin to see that the “lies” he tells are less a consequence of dishonesty than a consequence of stubborn honesty in the midst of the moral equivalence apparently consequent on the absurd. Other, more direct, examples of Meursault’s honesty can be seen early in the second part of the novel. For example, he notes that when he was first arrested, “I was put in a room with several other prisoners, most of them Arabs.

He told me life isn’t easy, but it has consolations: religion, art, and the love one inspires in others. qxd 10/09/2008 10:43 AM Page 23 THE ABSURD 23 makes in life is to cause others suffering. He tried to be a just man” (COP: 42; TRN: 19). However, Caligula’s character appears transformed by the death of Drusilla. In fact, Caligula claimed to be less affected by her death itself than by “the truth” her death revealed: a “childishly simple, obvious, almost silly truth, but one that’s hard to come by and heavy to endure”, the truth that “men die, and they are not happy” (COP: 40; TRN: 16).

He argued that the conclusion his Nazi interlocutor derived from the absurd (in this context, the lack of “ultimate” meaning) was nihilistic: “you therefore deduced the idea that everything was equivalent and that good and evil could be defined according to one’s wishes”, that “in the absence of any human or divine code the only values were those of the animal world – in other words, violence and cunning” and that “the only pursuit for the individual was the adventure of power and his only morality, the realism of conquests” (RRD: 27; E: 240).

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