Archives For Albert Camus

Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.
– Albert Camus,
born on this date, 1913
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Poem of the Day:
“Lucky Peacemakers”
by Eugene Peterson
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*** 3 Poems from Eugene Peterson’s collection HOLY LUCK.


Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
Love in the Ruins: A Novel
by Walker Percy
Only $1.99!!!
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*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – November 7, 2014


THE ECONOMIST looks back at
Albert Camus’ Work 50 years later

WHEN Albert Camus was killed in a car crash 50 years ago on January 4th, at the age of 46, he had already won the Nobel prize for literature, and his best-known novel, “L’Etranger” (“The Stranger” or “The Outsider”), had introduced readers the world over to the philosophy of the absurd. Yet, at the time of his death, Camus found himself an outcast in Paris, snubbed by Jean-Paul Sartre and other left-bank intellectuals, and denounced for his freethinking refusal to yield to fashionable political views. As his daughter has said: “Papa was alone.”

Today, by contrast, the French are proud to consider Camus a towering figure, while Sartre’s star has faded. Even President Nicolas Sarkozy, from the political right, has proposed transferring the writer’s remains from Provence to the Panthéon in Paris. Several new books mark the anniversary of his death, including an elegant illustrated volume by Catherine Camus, one of his twin children and custodian of her father’s estate.

The reader in search of literary criticism, or even the origins of absurdist thought, will not find it in the three new biographies. That by José Lenzini, a French former journalist, is the most unusual, retracing Camus’s last journey from Provence to Paris as a series of imaginary flashbacks through his life. The other two are more conventional but both finely drawn, digestible portraits of the football-playing “little poor child”, as Camus called himself, from Algiers, who came to leave such a mark on literature and moral thought.

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Elissa Elliott Reviews James Lasdun’s
Book of Short Stories, IT’S BEGINNING TO HURT

James Lasdun employs all sorts of characters in his enjoyable short story collection It’s Beginning to Hurt. Lovable or not, they’re all sympathetic, with threads of humanness we can relate to. In “The Anxious Man” (my favorite), Joseph is consumed by the Dow and NASDAQ numbers—his wife has insisted on pouring some inherited money into stocks. But it’s not just the market. He wishes to have more faith that all will be well, just shy of holding any convictions himself—”convictions, he liked to joke, were for convicts.” His inability to assess people correctly wears on him. On vacation in Cape Cod, he and his wife accept a drinks-and-dinner invitation from neighbors they don’t know. Later, Elise, his wife, rants about how despicable “those people” were:

All this time, he realized, while he had been blithely enjoying himself, she had been assessing this couple, sitting in judgment on them, and quietly forming a verdict against them. On what grounds? He wanted to know. But as he opened his mouth to demand an explanation, he had felt once again the familiar sense of uncertainty about his own instincts.

Poor Joseph. Except we understand, because we’ve felt similarly.

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James Lasdun.

Hardcover: FSG, 2009.
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