Albert Camus

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Albert Camus [ alˈbɛːʁ kaˈmy ] (born November 7, 1913 in Mondovi, French North Africa , today Dréan , Algeria ; †  January 4, 1960 near Villeblevin , France ) was a French writer and philosopher . In 1957 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his complete journalistic work . Camus is considered one of the best-known and most important French authors of the 20th century.

Albert Camus (1957)


Childhood and youth

Albert Camus came from a family that had been settlers in Algeria in the third generation since 1871 . He had French roots on his father's side and Spanish on his mother's side. His birthplace was a winery in the settlement of Saint-Paul (Arabic Chebaïta Mokhtar), 8 km from the center of the city of Mondovi (Arabic Drean, near Bône, today's Annaba ). Camus' father Lucien, an unskilled carter, had recently been sent from his wine-growing and export company from Algiers to work as a cellar master.

Albert Camus and his older brother Lucien (around 1920)

The father was drafted into the French army at the beginning of the First World War and wounded in the Battle of the Marne . In October 1914 he died in a hospital in Saint-Brieuc in Brittany . Thereupon the mother moved with Albert and his older brother Lucien back to their widowed mother in Algiers in the small-people-quarter Belcourt. There, together with her unmarried, language-impaired brother, a journeyman cooper , she contributed to the upkeep of the family, which was under the strict care of her grandmother, first as a factory worker and later as a cleaner.

In 1924, Camus' primary school teacher received permission from his mother and grandmother to prepare the talented boy for the high school entrance exam. Camus passed the test and from then on commuted between the poor world of Belcourt and the middle-class milieu of the school, where he hid his origins from his classmates, because he was ashamed of his mother, who was not only illiterate but also had a slight hearing and speech impairment . To improve his status in the class, he played sports and played as a goalkeeper for the football club Racing Universitaire d'Alger .

In 1930, after the first part of the Baccalauréat (French equivalent to the German Abitur), he fell ill with tuberculosis and had to be treated for several months in a sanatorium in southern France. After his return he was taken in by his mother's childless sister and her husband, a wealthy master butcher who was interested in literature. He seldom saw his mother.

In 1932 he passed the second part of his baccalaureate. His dream was to attend the École normal supérieure in Paris , the French elite university for teaching subjects, but there were no preparatory classes for the entrance examination anywhere in Algeria.

Marriage, studies and first political activities

Albert Camus began studying philosophy at the newly opened University of Algiers, where he became friends with the young professor Jean Grenier . In 1932, shortly after starting his studies, he met his fiancée Simone Hié (1914-1970) at a soirée with his friend Max-Pol Fouchet. Camus fell in love with her and they married on June 16, 1934. Hié came from the Algerian upper class, was also enrolled at the University of Algiers and cultivated the image of an intellectual femme fatale .

In 1935, after the formation of the “ Popular Front ”, an anti-fascist alliance of the French left and moderate left parties (Communists and Socialists as well as the Radical Party ), he became politicized like many other young intellectuals and became a member of the Communist Party , which in Algeria, though it was officially a part of France trying to set up its own organization. The party used Camus to carry out anti-colonial and pro-communist propaganda and to recruit members among the city's Muslim population . The latter, however, turned out to be almost impossible, as Marxist atheism repelled Muslims. After all, Camus gained insight into the social and psychological problems of the approximately 8 million Arabophone and Berberophone "natives" (indigènes) at the time , who were affected by approximately 800,000 "white" French Algerians, i.e. H. the descendants of French, Spanish, and Italian immigrants, as well as Frenchized native Jews, were ruled.

When the Popular Front won the elections in the early summer of 1936 and new cultural institutions were created all over France to raise the level of education of the workers, Camus and other leftists founded a Théâtre du travail in Algiers for the he wrote and studied his first piece Révolte dans les Asturies . It was about a strike by Spanish miners in 1934, but was banned before it was first performed. On the side, Camus - he was now also a member of the acting troupe of Radio Algiers - completed his Diplôme d'études supérieures with a thesis (see above) on the ancient North African philosophers Plotinus and Augustine .

With the completion of this work in 1936, Camus began to become estranged from Simone Hié, who was addicted to morphine and led a dissolute life with frequently changing relationships while Camus sought to devote himself to writing. He left the apartment they shared and moved to live with friends in the “Maison Fichu”, a picturesque house on a hill in Algiers.

To save their marriage, the couple went on a trip across Europe. The two made a long stop especially in Prague, as Camus was very interested in Franz Kafka . In Salzburg, however, he discovered that his wife had a relationship with her doctor, who provided her with drugs. Camus separated for good and moved in with his brother Lucien, while Hié returned to her mother. Camus supported Simone Hié financially until the end of his life and stayed in contact with her.

Back in Algiers, Camus met a party leadership which, on Moscow's instructions, had stopped all anti-colonialist propaganda because it could have weakened France's defensive strength against an arming Germany , which Stalin was also increasingly afraid of. Camus, who cared about the social and political equality of the “Arabs”, was outraged by his party's change of course and wanted to continue the old agitation. For this he was punished with expulsion from the party . He was just as disappointed in 1937 by the failure of a bill in the Assemblée nationale , according to which at least the educated and partly Francophile autochthonous elite in Algeria should receive full French citizenship . Another personal blow was that he was not admitted to the examinations ( concours ) for the Agrégation because of his tuberculosis and thus saw himself excluded from being a permanent high school teacher.

Beginning of writing

In his disappointment, Camus began his first novel about a young man suffering from tuberculosis, who murders and steals from a wealthy cripple and then dies himself: La Mort heureuse . However, he did not complete this work, which seemed to him too personal and immature. Rather, he used it from 1938 as material for L'Étranger , a politically motivated novel about an average young French Algerian named Meursault. He accidentally shoots a young Arab from whom he feels somehow threatened , but wants to stand up for his offense and thus becomes a scapegoat, on which the judiciary at first hesitantly, but then with full severity, sets an example.

Although Camus only lived from an auxiliary job in the meteorological institute in Algiers, he turned down a post as a salaried teacher in a small Algerian town in 1938, perhaps also because he had just got into a relationship with his future second wife, the mathematics student and later mathematics teacher Francine Faure .

Through his friend Pascal Pia , Camus got a job as a reporter for the new (left) newspaper Alger républicain . One of the main focuses of his work there were court reports, especially of trials against Arabs and Berbers , who in a judiciary dominated by the Algerian-French often experienced the full severity of the law. At the same time, Camus wrote a first version of his first completely own piece Caligula , a drama about a young man's search for meaning.

In this phase of existential disappointments, but also some bright spots, he began the philosophical essay Le Mythe de Sisyphe , in which he portrays human existence as fundamentally absurd, but nevertheless worth living, even happy. In the summer of 1939 he wrote a series of accusing articles about a famine in the hinterland of Algiers, against which the authorities did nothing, in his opinion, because only Berbers were starving there.

When World War II broke out in September 1939 and censorship was introduced, Camus and his newspaper were constantly at odds with the censorship authority. At the beginning of 1940 the newspaper ceased to appear for various reasons. Camus, after finally divorcing his first wife and marrying Francine Faure, had to be fed by his second wife. Since this was hard to bear for him, he went to Paris - without (how often falsely claimed) to have been expelled from Algeria - after being there, again with the help of Pascal Pia, a job as a reporter at the newspaper Paris-Soir received would have.


Immediately before the beginning of blitz allemand on May 10th, he finished his work L'Étranger , which he had in the meantime enriched with additional topics, in particular the teachings of Sisyphe , which almost obscured the original political intention. Shortly before the German troops marched into Paris, Camus and the editors of his newspaper fled to Clermont-Ferrand and soon on to Lyon , where he saw the armistice (June 22nd) and the beginnings of the new État français under Marshal Pétain .

In the following years he led an unsteady life between France and Algeria, but wrote diligently and finished Le Mythe de Sisyphe in the winter of 1941/42 in Oran (his wife's hometown, where he had received a teaching position) . The essay, which seems to propagate the overcoming of the futility of one's own existence by defiantly accepting its tragedy and by fulfilling one's duties, apparently hit the mood in occupied France when it was published in October. Because here there was a tendency to compensate for the defeat they had just suffered against Germany by fleeing into everyday life. Camus has now become known, especially since Étranger , finally published in June, was well received (which, however, was no longer seen as an Algerian-politically motivated novel, but as a meditation on the meaning of human existence).

At the end of 1942 Camus was again on a cure in southern France and could not return to Oran after Algeria had been captured by Anglo-American troops and the Germans had also placed the previously unoccupied south of France, the zone libre , under their direct control on November 11th . So after his cure he traveled to Paris, where he got a job as a lecturer at his publishing house Gallimard and now experienced first hand the conditions in occupied France, where the mood gradually brightened after the defeat of the German troops in Stalingrad . It was in this environment that he began work on the novel La Peste ( The Plague ), which describes his personal situation, i.e. H. The separation from his wife and his will to become politically active is reflected in the same way as the general situation in the country, whose people mostly collaborated willingly or indifferently with the Pétain regime and the occupiers , but in some cases already, as soon as Camus himself , joined the resistance movement, the Résistance . La Peste did not appear until 1947, but it was still a great success because the work, as a high song of the fulfillment of duty, apparently helped the French men in particular to glorify the last years of the war, in which, according to a rapidly developing myth, they supposedly explained everything (or but at least they had been secret resistance. Camus also met René Leynaud in the Combat resistance group, and wrote the foreword to his poems published by Gallimard in 1947.

In 1943 Camus wrote the play Le Malentendu and began working on the underground newspaper Combat , of which he became editor-in-chief after the liberation of France in 1944. Despite his work as a resister, he campaigned for Franco-German reconciliation with his Lettres à un ami allemand (1945).

At this time, Camus explicitly named Herman Melville in a private letter to Liselotte Dieckmann as one of his most important role models.

post war period

Albert Camus (1945)

In the post-war years, like Sartre (with whom he was also on friendly terms for a short time) he was one of the pioneers of existentialism . His best-known philosophical work from this period is the essay collection L'Homme révolté (1947–1951), which earned him not only much applause but also polemics , not least from Sartre, who accused him of betraying leftist ideals.

His political works from these years were less successful: L'État de siège (1948) or Les Justes (1949), set in tsarist Russia , which, based on the assassination attempt on Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Romanov in 1905 by Ivan Kaljajew , is the current problem dealt with the politically motivated assassinations, the usefulness of which Camus questioned but did not deny completely.

Similar to Sartre, Camus was not satisfied with a literary role, but also tried to influence politics as a journalist as a humanitarian , moderately left-wing pacifist who particularly denounced the intransigence of French colonial policy and the atrocities of the colonial troops. From 1950 he published his magazine articles regularly in anthologies with the title Actuelles .

Since he tried to be above the parties, he often got caught between the fronts. In 1956, for example, his attempts to mediate in the unrest in Algeria, which was slowly developing into war, failed, because his plea for civil rights equality for the Arabs was far too radical for most of the French, whereas his idea of ​​a French Algeria in the end is now unacceptable for most indigenous Algerians was.

His literary work was less intensive during these years, especially since his tuberculosis often prevented him from working. After all, the short novel La Chute came out in 1956 and in 1957 an anthology of stories mostly set in Algeria, L'Exil et le Royaume .

In 1957 Camus received the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his significant authorship, which illuminates human conscience problems in our time with astute seriousness". In 1959 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .


Monument in honor of Albert Camus in Villeblevin

On the afternoon of January 4, 1960, Camus died in a car accident as a passenger on the drive from Lourmarin to Paris near Villeblevin . The Facel Vega FV , driven by Michel Gallimard, a nephew of Camus' publisher, skidded when a rear tire burst and hit a tree with its right side. Camus died instantly, Gallimard died on January 14, 1960 in a hospital of his injuries. The occupants in the rear, however, Michel Gallimard's wife Janine and her daughter Anne, survived almost unharmed. Camus had allowed Gallimard to persuade him to take the trip, even though he had already bought a train ticket to Paris.

Camus' tombstone in Lourmarin , Vaucluse department

Until recently he had worked on Le Premier Homme , an autobiographical novel about his childhood and early adolescence as the son of a father he only vaguely knew by hearsay. The novel fragment appeared posthumously in 1994.

When Camus died, there was speculation - based on an assertion by the Italian intellectual and poet Giovanni Catelli - that the publisher Gallimard's vehicle had been manipulated on behalf of the former Soviet Foreign Minister Dmitri Shepilov (who had, of course, been dismissed from office in 1957) been. Catelli referred to excerpts from the diary of the Czech translator and poet Jan Zábrana , who claims to have found out about this from an informant.

Camus was buried in the Lourmarin cemetery.


Classification of Camus' philosophy

Albert Camus, better known in Germany as a philosopher than a man of letters, did not count himself among the representatives of existentialism . His early works in particular are very close to this philosophical trend. Jean-Paul Sartre praised his novel Der Fremde (1942) as an important work of existentialism. However, Camus does not share the basic assumption typical of existentialism that existence precedes essence (" Two common misconceptions: existence precedes essence or the essence of existence. They both go and rise in the same step .")

However, Camus' philosophical work also has its own character. Camus' philosophy is therefore often referred to as the " philosophy of the absurd " as a distinction from existentialism . This seems justified because Camus' view of the revolt in particular deviates from existentialist philosophy, which ultimately led to a break with Sartre.

The two main philosophical works of Camus are the essays The Myth of Sisyphos ( Le Mythe de Sisyphe , 1942) and The Man in Revolt ( L'Homme révolté , 1951). Camus also expresses his philosophy in his novels and stage plays.

The absurd

At the center of Camus' philosophy is the absurd . The absurd arises from the juxtaposition of man's legitimate search for meaning and the senselessness of the world.

The suffering and misery in the world was no longer meaningful. The suffering not only remains meaningless for him, it also remains inexplicable. If Camus' "man" were not agnostic , but connected to the Christian religions, one could assume behind this theoretical approach the problem of theodicy , which makes sense to ask how a "loving God" is to be reconciled with the suffering of the world tried to dissolve. According to Camus, “man” feels how alien everything is to him and thereby recognizes the senselessness of the world; so in the course of his striving for meaning he plunges into the deepest existential crises. The absurd does not stop at anyone:

"The absurd can jump at anyone on any street corner."

For Camus, the absurd lies in recognizing the fact that the human pursuit of meaning in a meaningless world must necessarily be in vain, but not without hope. In order not to desperately resign himself or to lapse into passivity, Camus propagates in the sense of existentialism and based on Friedrich Nietzsche the active, self-reliant human being who independently of a God and his grace is self-determined and aware of new possibilities of overcoming fate, of rebellion , of contradiction and internal revolt.

Death as the absolute end and inevitable fatality

The death is for Camus, on the one an absolute end that as life has no meaning. Death is the only fatality that is already given and from which one cannot escape (this is where Martin Heidegger's influence can be seen ). Death is often "unjust", for example when it hits children as in the novel The Plague . For Camus, death is also a final end: all the senseless deeds and revolts against the absurd are sealed once and for all by death. For the people at Camus, death is the crowning glory of an absurd life.

For Camus, death is (perhaps) an inevitable fatality, but by no means the end or the end point of the absurd life; rather, death or suicide is the reversal of the absurd, before which one 's eyes are closed . It is also absurd to want to flee from the absurd. For Camus, the possibility of surviving as a human being despite the absurdity of existence - incompatibility of human being and the world - lies in the "existential leap" or "philosophical suicide" (French: suicide philosophique ). This describes the human claim of an intellectual theory to step over the impossibility of knowledge of meaning in order to postulate the meaning itself. The absurd person, however, always limits his expectations of the creation of meaning to the facts that are immediate to him in order to succumb to non-speculative ideas instead of the indispensable senselessness and thus to “philosophical suicide”. This should inevitably deny real suicide and thus represents the absurd person's defense against the strange and closed world.

This then leads to the other side of Camus' death experience as a moment that is described as a happy, anticipated death experience in this world, regardless of the actual final physical death. In The Happy Death , the preliminary draft of Der Fremde , which he did not publish , he describes it from the point of view of the protagonist Mersault as an eternal event in the consciousness. Mersault buys a house in a seaside village towards the end of the novel. After he became seriously ill, he allegedly dies a happy, conscious death: "A stone between stones, in the joy of his heart he entered the truth of the immovable world again."

The "permanent revolt" as a way to overcome the absurd

Although there is no “way out” of the absurd situation of humans, the absurd can nevertheless be overcome: by accepting the absurd situation on the part of humans. Man admits the absurdity of his situation and accepts it instead of succumbing to the mistaken belief that he must free himself from the absurdity by suicide. Rather, despite everything (and that is also absurd), he strives forwards. As with other representatives of existentialism , the human being is an agent, an urging one. The symbol for this “absurd” person is the mythological figure of Sisyphus (cf. The Myth of Sisyphus ).

In the philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus , Camus illustrates the happiness of absurd people using the example of the mythological figure who is condemned to roll a stone over and over again on a mountain.

Nevertheless, the contradiction of the absurd never completely dissolves through this “ permanent revolt ”. The revolt is necessary, but ultimately never leads to the goal. In a certain sense it is an eternal getting up with a "scornful nonetheless" with which the absurd person starts the day anew. This process itself is endless. That view of the revolt divided Camus and the meanwhile Marxist Sartre , who imagined a social revolt that would lead to the historic goal of communism.

Human solidarity and love as values

Already in the collection of novels Exile and the Reich ( L'Exil et le Royaume , 1952) and to some extent in Le Mythe de Sisyphe from 1942 it becomes clear that “solidaire” (relationships with other people) and “solitaire” (being alone) are two sides of the same medal, one as one-sided as the other. If you made a decision, you would go astray. According to Camus, interpersonal relationships are just as absurd as the situation of people who are alone facing nature that surrounds them all. Both are complementary like two pages of a document that are never consciously visible to the reader at the same time. They are mutually exclusive and at the same time condition each other. During the plague , he tried to develop this idea further - although personally probably not convinced, more owed to the political situation. Ultimately, the fact remains that the person has to stay “before the jump” in order not to tread one of the two one-sided wrong paths that arise. In The Plague, revolt alone is no longer enough to give people meaning. In their apparently hopeless situation and their hopeless struggle against it, people find mutual solidarity , friendship and love :

«À la fin, c'est trop bête de ne vivre que dans la peste. Bien entendu, un homme doit se battre […]. Mais s'il cesse de rien aimer par ailleurs, à quoi sert qu'il se batte? »

“In the end, it's very stupid to just live with the plague. Of course, a person has to fight [...]. But if he ends up loving nothing else, what is fighting good for? "

Without values ​​gained in the struggle for existence, the revolt makes no sense. But these values ​​have to focus on what really exists: on people themselves. What people need is “human warmth” (“chaleur humaine”) .

Similarly, in his drama The State of Siege , Camus addresses resistance to any form of inhumanity, both political and existential. The Spanish city of Cádiz has been chosen as an exemplary location because, on the one hand, the plague had raged there in the past and, on the other, the city was an important one Played role in the Spanish Revolution of 1823, which was crushed at the Battle of Trocadero . Similar to some republicans in the Spanish Civil War, the hero Diego in this drama does not give up the fight despite the sometimes hopeless situation. The play was therefore often referred to as a dramatic variant of the novel The Plague . The heroes Bernard Rieux and Diego have a lot in common, but there are different discourses in both works.

In his novel Der Fall ( La chute , 1956) Camus criticizes the often hypocritical and superficial nature of human relationships.

Political stance

In his speeches and writings, Camus turned against all authoritarian forms of government, especially against Stalinist socialism . However, it is by no means the case that he was a proponent of parliamentary democracy. Rather, Camus advocated an anarcho-syndicalism in which the means of production are in the hands of the unions. As early as 1944 he wanted an "internationalist economy in which raw materials would be nationalized, trade organized cooperatively and colonial sales markets made accessible to all and money itself given collective status." A little later he called for the "United States of the World", which "Abolition of wage labor" and "to involve the trade unions in the administration of the national income". In 1951 he summarized: "My sympathies are with the libertarian forms of syndicalism."


Importance of art in the work of Camus

The absurd in Albert Camus' work is only a diagnosis. Then it is important for Camus to develop a strategy against the supposed senselessness of the world, which he essentially transfers to art and the artist. Not only in Der Mensch in der Revolte ( L'Homme révolté , 1951), his work contains specific requests to counter the absurd with a revolt. In his most important writings, Camus poses this revolt primarily to the artist and thus to art as a permanent task.

Art already appears in his early writings, as in L'art de la communion (before 1933): “... art fights against death. In search of immortality, the artist gives in to a futile pride that is a just hope. " He wrote the key phrase for understanding the absurd as early as 1942: “The absurd world can only be justified aesthetically,” he noted in his diary at the end of 1942. In Der Mythos des Sisyphus ( Le Mythe de Sisyphe ) (1942) he points to the fundamental importance of art. Art is at the service of revolt, without which every revolt will fail to achieve its purpose. Camus understands art as a revolt against the imperfect world. The artist should give reality a different form. Art is neither a denial nor a rejection of what is. The artist can only achieve this balance if he is willing to share everyone's fate and if his work is not based on hatred and disregard. In The Man in Revolt ( L'homme révolté ) (1951), in Chapter 4 Revolt and Art, he interprets the position and task of the artist: "The artist recreates the world at his own expense."

Art and freedom

Art and freedom are inextricably linked in his theoretical and fictional works. The resulting independence, not only for art, but also for ideologies, was not accepted by the left. The dispute with his friend Jean-Paul Sartre , which followed Francis Jeanson's review of Der Mensch in der Revolte ( L'homme révolté ) in Les Temps Modernes , led to the definitive break of their friendship. Today, primarily because of his statements about art and freedom, there is an unbroken topicality of his work, which confirms Camus' demands and positions. For Rupert Neudeck , the founder of the Cap Anamur company, The Pest ( La peste ) was a “Bible of NGOs”. In Die Pest the journalist Rambert, whom the doctor Rieux has convinced to stay in the city ravaged by the plague, sums up his insight, which is also the attitude that Camus ascribes to the artist: “Yes, said Rambert, but you can ashamed when one is happy all alone. ”With this he answers the question that the artist Jonas wrote as the last act on his blank canvas:“ solitaire or solidaire ”. Camus saw his oeuvre as an interpretation of aesthetic reflections that keep appearing in his diaries. He was concerned with the artist's rebellion against the world that was perceived as absurd, a revolt that he emphatically opposed to the ideologies that attack the freedom of art: In spring 1943, he wrote “Art is the distance that time gives to suffering there. ”Very personal entries like in May 1953 refer to his self-image as an artist:“ If I had not given in to my passions, I might have been able to help the world, to change something in it. But I gave in to them, and that's why I'm an artist and nothing more. "

His speech on the occasion of the acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature on December 10, 1958 in Stockholm sums up the connection between art and freedom, as he has developed them in his entire work. Art is superior to ideologies and politics. Freedom is not justified by ideologies; it is only ensured through the unrestricted exercise of art. In Stockholm he gives a key to understanding his entire work. Camus speaks of the art without which he could not live. She does not tolerate loneliness. The artist shares the art with everyone. The second point of reference is beauty. Art is a means of reaching as many people as possible: “In my eyes, art is not a reclusive pleasure. It is a means of touching the greatest possible number of people by offering them an exemplary picture of the common sorrows and joys. It therefore requires the artist not to isolate himself; it subjects him to the most modest and at the same time the most comprehensive truth. ”He warns the artist against giving up his independence, because then he would lose art as a means of using it against oppression. The artist cannot formulate morals. There is no definition for the truth, it has to be determined again and again. "With this speech, which does not mention the words absurd and revolt, Camus adjusts the weights for the interpretation of his work."


Original editions

  • Light and Shadow ( L'envers et l'endroit , 1937), in: Literary Essays . Rowohlt, Hamburg 1959
  • Caligula (1938), in: Dramas . Rowohlt, Hamburg 1959
  • Wedding of light . Impressions on the edge of the desert ( Noces , 1938). Arche, Zurich 1954; New edition ibid. 2009, ISBN 978-3-7160-2634-2 .
  • The myth of Sisyphus . An experiment on the absurd ( Le mythe de Sisyphe , 1942). Rauch, Bad Salzig / Düsseldorf 1950
  • The stranger . Narrative ( L'étranger , 1942). Rauch, Boppard / Bad Salzig 1948
  • The misunderstanding ( Le malentendu , 1944), in: Dramas . Rowohlt, Hamburg 1959
  • The plague . Roman ( La peste , Paris 1947). Abendlandverlag, Innsbruck 1948
  • The state of siege ( L'état de siège , 1948). Desch, Munich 1950
  • The Just ( Les justes , 1949), in: Dramas . Rowohlt, Hamburg 1959
  • The man in revolt ( L'homme révolté , 1951). Rowohlt, Hamburg 1953
  • Return to Tipasa ( L'été , 1954). Arche, Zurich 1957
  • The case . Roman ( La chute , 1956). Rowohlt, Hamburg 1957
  • The exile and the empire . Stories ( L'exil et le royaume , 1957). Rowohlt, Hamburg 1958
  • The possessed ( Les possédés , 1959). Rowohlt, Hamburg 1960

Works or editions published posthumously

Posthumously written letter to Camus:



  • Germaine Brée: Albert Camus. Shape and work. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1960.
  • Morvan Lebesque: Albert Camus in self-testimonies and image documents. Monographs No. 50. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1960.
  • Conor Cruise O'Brien: Albert Camus. Dtv , Munich 1971.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm BautzCAMUS, Albert. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 1, Bautz, Hamm 1975. 2nd, unchanged edition Hamm 1990, ISBN 3-88309-013-1 , Sp. 904-907.
  • Brigitte Sendet: Albert Camus. An introduction to life and work. Reclam's Universal Library No. 1006. Leipzig 1983.
    • this: Albert Camus. Monographs No. 544. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1995; again: Monographs No. 635, Reinbek 2000, ISBN 3-499-50635-1 .
  • Herbert R. Lottman: Camus. A biography. Hoffmann and Campe , Hamburg 1986 (first Paris 1978).
    • Camus. The image of a writer and his epoch. Biographies No. 169. Heyne, Munich 1988.
  • Heiner Feldhoff: Paris, Algiers. The life story of Albert Camus. Beltz & Gelberg, Weinheim 1991 and 1998.
  • Olivier Todd: Albert Camus. One life. Rowohlt, Reinbek, 1999, ISBN 3-498-06516-5 .
  • Marie-Laure Wieacker-Wolff: Albert Camus. Dtv, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-423-31070-7 .
  • Jeanyves Guérin: Dictionnaire Albert Camus. Laffont, Paris 2010, ISBN 978-2-221-10734-8 .
  • Ève Morisi: Albert Camus contre la peine de mort. Gallimard, Paris 2011, ISBN 978-2-07-013554-7 .
  • Michel Onfray : L'ordre libertaire. La vie philosophique d'Albert Camus. Flammarion, Paris 2012, ISBN 978-2-08-126441-0 . German edition: In the name of freedom. Life and Philosophy of Albert Camus. Translated by Stephanie Singh. Knaus, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-8135-0533-7 .
  • Martin Meyer : Albert Camus - Live Freedom. Hanser, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-446-24353-8 .
  • Iris Radisch : Camus: The ideal of simplicity. A biography. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2013, ISBN 978-3-498-05789-3 .
  • Patrick McCarthy: Camus: A Critical Study of His Life and Work . Hamish Hamilton, London 1982, ISBN 978-0-241-10603-7 .
  • Elizabeth Hawes: Camus, A Romance . Grove / Atlantic, Inc., New York 2009, ISBN 978-0-8021-1889-9 .
  • Catherine Camus: Albert Camus: solitaire et solidaire . Éditions Michel-Lafon, Neuilly-sur-Seine 2009, ISBN 978-2-7499-1087-1 .
  • Catherine Camus: Le monde en partage. Itinéraires d'Albert Camus . Gallimard - Albums Beaux Livres, Paris 2013, ISBN 978-2-07-014094-7 .
  • Neil Helms, Harold Bloom: Albert Camus . Chelsea House Publications, coll. "Bloom's BioCritiques", New York 2003, ISBN 978-0-7910-7381-0 .
  • André Comte-Sponville , Laurent Bove, Patrick Renou: Camus: de l'absurde à l'amour: lettres inédites d'Albert Camus. Editions  Paroles d'Aube,  ISBN 9782909096414 .
  • Emmanuel Roblès: Camus, frère de soleil . Éditions du Seuil, Paris 1995, ISBN 978-2-02-025174-7 .
  • Pierre-Louis Rey: Camus. L'homme révolté . Collection Découvertes Gallimard (n ° 488), Série Littératures. Paris 2006, ISBN 978-2-07-031828-5 .
  • Virgil Tănase: Camus . Gallimard - Collection Folio biographies (n ° 65), Paris 2010, ISBN 978-2-07-034432-1 .
  • Raymond Gay-Crosier, Agnès Spiquel: Cahier de L'Herne Camus . Éditions de L'Herne, Paris 2013, ISBN 978-2-85197-172-2 .
  • Roger Grenier: Album Camus: iconographie choisie et commentée . Gallimard - Collection Albums de la Pléiade (n ° 21). Paris 1982, ISBN 978-2-07-011045-2 .
  • Stephen Eric Bronner: Camus: Portrait of a Moralist . University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1999, ISBN 978-0-8166-3284-8 .
  • Robert Zaretsky: Albert Camus: Elements of a Life . Cornell University Press, Ithaca, United States 2010, ISBN 978-0-8014-7907-6 .
  • Robert Zaretsky: A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning . Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2013, ISBN 978-0-674-72476-1 .
  • Jean-Claude Brisville, Camus . NRF Gallimard - Collection La bibliothèque idéale, Paris 1959, ISBN 978-2-07-021036-7 .
  • Alain Vircondelet: Albert Camus, vérité et legends. Photographies: collection Catherine et Jean Camus . Éditions du Chêne, Paris 1998, ISBN 978-2-84277-108-9 .

As a narrative

  • Susy Langhans-Maync: The Curse of Lourmarin. (Slightly shortened version) in Adalbert Keil (Ed.): Die Prophezeiung. Gypsy stories . Goldmanns Yellow TB # 1622, Munich 1965. (Anthology, first by Kurt Desch, ibid. 1964) pp. 125–147. - Original edition: The Curse of Lourmarin. Five scary stories from 5 countries. Viktoria, Bern 1963
    • Explanation in: Franz Rottensteiner and Michael Koseler (Hrsg.): Work guide through the utopian-fantastic literature. Corian-Verlag Heinrich Wimmer, Meitingen 1988 ff., Loose-leaf, ISBN 978-3-89048-800-4 .

To the work

  • Stephan Leopold: Problematic hegemony, libidinal investment. On the question of colonial allegory formation using the example of Albert Camus' L'Étranger and Kateb Yacine's “Nedjma” , in Zs. Lendemains. Études comparées sur la France - Comparative French Research # 130/131, Narr, Tübingen 2008 ISSN  0170-3803 pp. 162–198
  • Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi (ed.): Albert Camus - Journalist in the Resistance . Translated from the French by Lou Marin, Laika Verlag, Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-944233-24-6 (Volume I) and ISBN 978-3-944233-25-3 (Volume II).
  • Walter Neuwöhner: Ethics in contradiction. On the development of morality under the sign of unbelief, demonstrated in the essays "Le Mythe de Sisyphe" and "L'Homme révolté" by Albert Camus . Peter Lang, Frankfurt 1985.
  • Leo Pollmann: Sartre and Camus. Literature of existence . Series: Language and Literature, 40. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1967
  • Johannes Pfeifer: senselessness and solidarity. Contributions to the understanding of Albert Camus . The track, Berlin 1969
  • Heinz Robert Schlette :
  • Lou Marin: Origin of the Revolt. Albert Camus and anarchism . Grassroots Revolution , Heidelberg 1998 ISBN 3-9806353-0-9
  • Lou Marin (Ed.): Albert Camus: Libertäre Schriften (1948–1960) , Laika Verlag, Hamburg, 2013, ISBN 978-3-942281-56-0
  • Asa Schillinger-Kind: Albert Camus as an introduction . Series: To the introduction, 299th Junius, Hamburg 1999 ISBN 3-88506-309-3
  • Hartmut Sommer: The absurd and the light. Albert Camus and the light of Provence , in: Revolte und Waldgang - The poet philosophers of the 20th century , Lambert Schneider, Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-650-22170-4
  • Jean Firges : Camus. The absurd and the revolt . Exemplary series of literature and philosophy. Sonnenberg, Annweiler 2000 ISBN 3-933264-03-0
  • Heiner Wittmann : Albert Camus. Art and morals. Edited by Dirk Hoeges . Series: Dialoghi / Dialogues. Literature and culture of Italy and France, 6. Peter Lang, Frankfurt 2002 ISBN 3-631-39525-6
    • dsb .: Sartre and Camus in Aesthetics. The Challenge of Freedom. Edited by Dirk Hoeges . Series: Dialoghi / Dialogues. Literature and culture of Italy and France, 13th ibid. 2009 ISBN 978-3-631-58693-8
  • Brigitte Sendet: Albert Camus. Autonomy and solidarity . Königshausen & Neumann , Würzburg 2004 ISBN 3-8260-2630-6
  • Horst Wernicke (Ed.): Albert Camus - René Char. Lonely and together. Traces of a friendship . Osiris. Journal for literature and art, 5th Rimbaud, Aachen 1998. ISBN 3-89086-829-0 Contents: Rimbaud Verlag - Osiris. Journal of Literature and Art
  • Anne-Kathrin Reif: The world does not offer truths, but possibilities for love. On the importance of love in the work of Albert Camus. Wuppertal 1999 Online (PDF; 1.3 MB)
  • Anne-Kathrin Reif: Albert Camus - From the absurd to love . Djre Verlag, Königswinter 2013. ISBN 978-3-9816109-0-1
  • Wolf-Dieter Narr : The topicality of the anarchist struggle. Albert Camus died 50 years ago. It makes you want to deal with him: "I revolt, therefore we are". in Zs. Graswurzelrevolution No. 345, 2010, p. 22 online
  • Rupert Neudeck : The political ethics with Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Diss. Phil., Bonn 1975 ISBN 3-416-01008-6

Comic adaptation

  • Katia Fouquet: Jonas or the artist at work. Edition Book Guild, Frankfurt / Main 2013.
  • Jacques Ferrandez: The Stranger. Jacoby & Stuart, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-942787-21-5

Film adaptations

Radio plays

  • Frank-Erich Hübner directed the three-part radio play The Plague based on the novel of the same name, WDR / NDR 2010, running time 150 min.

Web links

Commons : Albert Camus  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Roland H. Auvray: Le livre d'or du football pied-noir et north-africain. Maroc – Algérie – Tunisie. Presses du Midi, Toulon 1995, ISBN 2-87867-050-7 , p. 5; Paul Dietschy / David-Claude Kemo-Keimbou (co-editors: FIFA ): Le football et l'Afrique. EPA, o.r. 2008, ISBN 978-2-85120-674-9 , p. 98
  2. Simone Hié. Retrieved April 25, 2020 .
  3. ^ Marie-Laure Wieacker-Wolff, Albert Camus (2003), p. 65
  4. ^ Marie-Laure Wieacker-Wolff, Albert Camus (2003), p. 66.
  5. ^ Marie-Laure Wieacker-Wolff, Albert Camus (2003), p. 70
  6. Marie-Laure Wieacker-Wolff, Albert Camus (2003), p. 69 f.
  7. The name Meursault can be interpreted as "meurs, sot!" = "Die, you fool!"
  9. Iris Radisch : The contemporary of our dreams. In: The time . December 30, 2009, accessed January 14, 2012 .
  10. ^ A b Christian Buß : Was Albert Camus murdered by the KGB? In: Spiegel Online . August 7, 2011, accessed August 7, 2011 .
  11. a b Dario Fertilio: Il giallo Camus. Una confessione inedita rilancia l'ipotesi del delitto politico. L'ombra del Kgb dietro la sua fine: una vendetta dopo i fatti di Budapest. In: Corriere della Sera. August 1, 2011, accessed August 7, 2011 (Italian).
  12. Catelli's book Camus deve morire was published in October 2013 (Nutrimenti, ISBN 978-88-6594-267-3 )
  13. ^ Non, je ne suis pas existentialiste, in Les Nouvelles littéraires , November 15, 1945. Excerpts from this interview in: AC, Essais, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade , 1965, pp. 1424–1427. In English: "No, I am not an existentialist [...] and the one philosophical book I have published, The Myth of Sisyphus was written AGAINST philosophers called existentialists ...". The Camus publishers, e.g. B. in the engl. Vintage edition of Sisyphus , but try again and again inappropriately to bring Camus close to him: "a crucial exposition of existentialist thought".
  14. ^ Albert Camus: Diary: March 1951 - December 1959 . 3rd edition, new edition. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1993, ISBN 978-3-499-22199-6 .
  15. Annemarie Pieper: The presence of the absurd. Studies on Albert Camus . Francke, A, Tübingen 1994, ISBN 978-3-7720-2072-8 .
  16. The sense of the sacred ,
  17. La Peste , collection folio Gallimard, p. 230f. (Translation by Gert Pinkernell)
  18. Patrick Spät: "Myths um Camus" , in: Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik , 11/2013, pp. 119–122, on Camus' anarchism cf. also: Lou Marin (ed.): Albert Camus - Libertäre Schriften 1948–1960 , Hamburg: Laika Verlag, 2013.
  19. Cf. A. Camus, L'art dans la communion , in: ders., Œuvres complètes , t. I, 1931-1944, ed. v. J. Lévi-Valensi, Paris 2006, pp. 960-965.
  20. ^ A. Camus, Carnets. May 1935 - December 1948 , in: ders., Œuvres complètes , Vol. II, 1931–1944, ed. v. J. Lévi-Valensi, Paris 2006, p. 994: “Le monde absurde ne reçoit qu'une justification esthétique.” Dt. Albert Camus, Diaries 1935-1951 , trans. VGG master, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1972, p. 246.
  21. Cf., A. Camus, Le mythe de Sisyphe , in: ders., “Œuvres complètes”, t. II, éd. par J. Lévi-Valensi, u. a., Paris 2006, pp. 283-300, German Der Mythos des Sisyphus , trans. v. V. v. Wroblewsky, Reinbek b. Hamburg, 2000, pp. 123-151
  22. Cf., A. Camus, L'homme révolté , in: ders., Œuvres complètes , Vol. III, éd. par R. Gay-Crosier, u. a., Paris 2008, pp. 278–299, p. 280, Ger. Der Mensch in der Revolte , trans. v. J. Streller et al. a., Reinbek b. Hamburg, 1969, pp. 285-314, here p. 290.
  23. ^ Francis Jeanson, "Albert Camus ou l'âme révoltée", in: Les Temps Modernes 79, Paris 1952, pp. 2070-2090.
  24. See the chapter on Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus in: Heiner Wittmann , Aesthetics in Sartre and Camus. The Challenge of Freedom , translated by C. Atkinson, Dialoghi / dialogues series. Literature and culture of Italy and France, ed. By Dirk Hoeges , vol. 13, Frankfurt, Berlin, Bern a. a., 2009, pp. 141-151.
  25. Heiner Wittmann, Rupert Neudeck (1939-2016) in: France Blog, May 31, 2016 [1] .
  26. ^ Albert Camus, Die Pest ( La peste ), ob. v. U. Aumüller, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1998, p. 236
  27. ^ Albert Camus, Jonas or the artist at work , in: A. Camus, Jonas or the artist at work , ex. v. GG Meister, Reinbek near Hamburg 1998, p. 214.
  28. ^ Albert Camus, Diaries 1935-1952 , trans. v. GG Meister, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1972, p. 283, cf. Heiner Wittmann : Albert Camus. Kunst und Moral , Frankfurt am Main 2002, pp. 57–66 and 67–84.
  29. ^ Albert Camus, diary. March 1951-December 1959 , trans. v. GG Meister, Reinbek near Hamburg 1973, pp. 141f.
  30. ^ A b Heiner Wittmann : Art and Morals. Albert Camus and his Nobel Prize speech : in: Willi Jung (ed.), Albert Camus or the happy Sisyphos - Albert Camus ou Sisyphe heureux , (Germany and France in scientific dialogue / Le dialogue scientifique franco-allemand), Bonn 2013, ISBN 978- 3-8471-0146-8 , pp. 173-194.
  31. Albert Camus, speech on the occasion of the acceptance of the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1957 in Stockholm , in: Albert Camus, Questions of Time , trans. v. GG Meister, Reinbek near Hamburg 1977, pp. 224–229.
  32. Albert Camus, speech on the occasion of the acceptance of the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1957 in Stockholm , in: Albert Camus, Questions of Time , trans. v. GG Meister, Reinbek near Hamburg 1977, p. 225
  33. ^ Franziska Meier: The only one - among others: Albert Camus' lover Maria Casarès. Neue Zürcher Zeitung , January 11, 2018.
  34. Contents: The mansion in which Camus worked in L. had previously been neglected and inhabited by gypsies. The new owner drives out the gypsies, renovates and rents the house to Camus. He suffers the fatal accident on the way to Paris.
  35. online version
  36. / Jürg Altwegg : Review
  37. The state of siege. (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on February 12, 2013 ; accessed on September 4, 2018 .
  38. Classic of the German television game: Die Gerechten. In: Die Krimihomepage special. Retrieved September 4, 2018 .
  39. Review on