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Camus' diary and random notes which provided material for his later fiction.
Finite Transcendence: Existential Exile and the Myth of Home introduces and situates “existential exile” as an experience of the fundamental finitude of human existence and demonstrates how a particular way of responding in faith may enable one to find home in exile. Using the literary and philosophical oeuvre of Albert Camus as a model, this book demonstrates the manner in which mythic literature can both present and engage the condition of exile toward its possible transcendence.
Like many others of my generation, I first read Camus in high school. I carried him in my backpack while traveling across Europe, I carried him into (and out of) relationships, and I carried him into (and out of) difficult periods of my life. More recently, I have carried him into university classes that I have taught, coming out of them with a renewed appreciation of his art. To be sure, my idea of Camus thirty years ago scarcely resembles my idea of him today. While my admiration and attachment to his writings remain as great as they were long ago, the reasons are more complicated and critical.—Robert Zaretsky On October 16, 1957, Albert Camus was dining in a small restaurant on Paris's Left Bank when a waiter approached him with news: the radio had just announced that Camus had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Camus insisted that a mistake had been made and that others were far more deserving of the honor than he. Yet Camus was already recognized around the world as the voice of a generation—a status he had achieved with dizzying speed. He published his first novel, The Stranger, in 1942 and emerged from the war as the spokesperson for the Resistance and, although he consistently rejected the label, for existentialism. Subsequent works of fiction (including the novels The Plague and The Fall), philosophy (notably, The Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel), drama, and social criticism secured his literary and intellectual reputation. And then on January 4, 1960, three years after accepting the Nobel Prize, he was killed in a car accident. In a book distinguished by clarity and passion, Robert Zaretsky considers why Albert Camus mattered in his own lifetime and continues to matter today, focusing on key moments that shaped Camus's development as a writer, a public intellectual, and a man. Each chapter is devoted to a specific event: Camus's visit to Kabylia in 1939 to report on the conditions of the local Berber tribes; his decision in 1945 to sign a petition to commute the death sentence of collaborationist writer Robert Brasillach; his famous quarrel with Jean-Paul Sartre in 1952 over the nature of communism; and his silence about the war in Algeria in 1956. Both engaged and engaging, Albert Camus: Elements of a Life is a searching companion to a profoundly moral and lucid writer whose works provide a guide for those perplexed by the absurdity of the human condition and the world's resistance to meaning.
There can be no doubt that most of the thinkers who are usually associated with the existentialist tradition, whatever their actual doctrines, were in one way or another influenced by the writings of Kierkegaard. This influence is so great that it can be fairly stated that the existentialist movement was largely responsible for the major advance in Kierkegaard's international reception that took place in the twentieth century. In Kierkegaard's writings one can find a rich array of concepts such as anxiety, despair, freedom, sin, the crowd, and sickness that all came to be standard motifs in existentialist literature. Sartre played an important role in canonizing Kierkegaard as one of the forerunners of existentialism. However, recent scholarship has been attentive to his ideological use of Kierkegaard. Indeed, Sartre seemed to be exploiting Kierkegaard for his own purposes and suspicions of misrepresentation and distortions have led recent commentators to go back and reexamine the complex relation between Kierkegaard and the existentialist thinkers. The articles in the present volume feature figures from the French, German, Spanish and Russian traditions of existentialism. They examine the rich and varied use of Kierkegaard by these later thinkers, and, most importantly, they critically analyze his purported role in this famous intellectual movement.
"Schumacher looks at hope as a virtue, one opposed by vices such as despair and presumption, particularly as they are treated in existentialism and Marxism. He also explores Pieper's treatment of hope in relation to the ideas of death and immorality, and in the philosophy of history. Using the idea of hope to examine such themes as dignity, ethics, the good, and the just, Schumacher provides a valuable, wide-ranging introduction to a shaper of contemporary Christian thought against a richly drawn intellectual background."--BOOK JACKET.
Fifty years after Camus's untimely death, his work still has a tremendous impact on literature. From a twenty-first century vantage point, his work offer us coexisting ideas and principles by which we can read and understand the other and ourselves. Yet Camus seems to guide us without directing us strictly; his fictions do not offer clear-cut solutions or doctrines to follow. This complexity is what demands that the oeuvre be read, and reread. The wide-ranging articles in this volume shed light, concentrate on the original aspects of Camus' writings and explore how and why they are still relevant for us today.

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