Who was Camus, Albert | Biography

Biografías de personajes históricos y personalidades

French writer, born in Mondovi (Algeria) on November 7, 1913 and died in Villeblerin (Yonne, France) January 4, 1960. He was one of the main representatives of existentialism. It is one of the leading voices of French literature of the mid-twentieth century. With his novels, essays and plays reached universal fame, especially after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.


Mondovi (now called Drean) was a city of Algeria where he lived his family, who was French (at that time, Algeria belonged to France). At home there was not much money, so his parents had to make great sacrifices so that he could study at the University of Algiers. But soon he left college because of a serious illness (tuberculosis).

It was, as a child, a great lover of literature and theater. He founded a theater company that was touring the slums and places where there were workers, offering representation for the working class.

Then he found work as a journalist and, for work, began to travel frequently to Europe. During these trips was updating the fashions and the latest literary tastes.

He became known as a writer shortly before World War II, with the publication of a book entitled Weddings (1939). It collected his major articles on literature and travel. He gained fame as a columnist and reporter (specialties of journalism), and in 1940, he went to France, where he was hired as editor of Paris-Soir newspaper.

Soon after, during the invasion of France by the German army, defended his country as a member of the Resistance. Among other activities, Camus edited the magazine Combat, which was distributed among the members of the Resistance.

During World War II, Camus had published a novel that would bring fame worldwide: Alien (1942). Just after the armed struggle, also had great success as a playwright, while published other novels that was put at the head of the existentialist writers.

All these works earned him the Nobel Prize in 1957. Three years later, while driving in the municipality of Villeblerin, had an accident in which he lost his life.


Albert Camus represents the culmination of existentialism in narrative fiction. In his narrative is perfectly reflect all the anxieties and fears of man the mid-twentieth century, terrified after a tragedy of proportions of the Second World War.

His most original feature within this common thought, is the praise of some qualities of being human. Camus sees something positive in man: its ability to overcome the disaster with dignity, and their need to share their joys and fears with other men. Thus Camus novels, written in a direct, dry and vigorous style, have hope and human solidarity as a solution to the absurd.

In The Stranger (1942), set in Algeria, like many works written after Camus, displayed its first thoughts on existentialism. But his masterpiece is The Plague (1947), in which more intensely appreciated your idea about how absurd can become human life. Camus a tragic situation, the terrible effects of an epidemic of plague in Oran (Algeria) is invented to present the different human responses to the disaster, misfortune and death.

He also wrote other stories like The Fall (1956); a collection of short stories entitled Exile and the Kingdom (1957); youth novel A happy death, which was not published until 1971; and the first man who could not finish.

His most famous plays are trying existentialist themes (like his novels) and Misunderstanding (1944), The State of Siege (1948) and Fair (1950). Caligula, written in 1938 but not shown until 1945, is his masterpiece in the theatrical genre, and one of the most representative pieces of existentialist theater.

Many of the existentialist ideas that Camus presents in his novels and plays were also reflected in his writings of thought and reflection (or trials). For example, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942) is an essay on suicide, and The Rebel (1951) served as the starting point for his novel The Fall.

Camus collected many of his articles in books like Current (published in three volumes: 1950, 1953 and 1958) and Summer (1954).

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Translated for educational purposes.

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