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Albert Camus 100th Birthday Graphic with quote by Aberjhaniberjhani from Postered Poetics

Graphic art quote featuring text by Aberjhani with image of Albert Camus courtesy of Bright Skylark Lit Prods and Postered Poetics. The quote reads: “There is in Albert Camus’ literary craftsmanship a seductive intelligence that could almost make a reader dismiss his philosophical intentions if he had not insisted on making them so clear.” –from Text and Meaning in Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus

What would you say is the biggest surprise about the Quotable Poet’s 100th birthday tribute to Albert Camus? Around here we’re saying it’s that it seems like he hasn’t done a whole lot more on Camus. Different bio profiles mention Camus’ influence on him as a writer and Hong Kong bloggers have talked about how his work fits the tradition of commitment literature made famous by the birthday boy himself and other French authors like Jean Paul Sartre.

So what’s the answer to the original question? As much as authors might admire other writers they have to give first priority to their own work. But it’s still hard to resist comparing Camus to the Quotable Poet (who so far doesn’t have a Nobel Prize). If the Quotable Poet is any kind of philosopher he would have to be called a spiritual philosopher compared to Camus as an academic/intellectual philosopher. Camus’ fiction is a lot more famous than the QP’s. Both continued to write journalism while also producing literary fiction. The QP has published more poetry. Both had to confront oppressive situations: Camus’ was war and the QP’s was blatant racism. The QP is better known for historical writings. Camus has the stronger reputation as a playwright while there have been rumors about plays by the QP but none seen on Broadway just yet.

But the important news is that Camus is the one turning 100 so these are 3 quotes taken from his Wiki Quotes page and posted as a tribute to his greatness:

  • The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it.
    • Review of Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea, published in the newspaper Alger Républicain (20 October 1938), p. 5; as quoted in Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd (2002) by Avi Sagi, p. 43
  • Nothing is harder to understand than a symbolic work. A symbol always transcends the one who makes use of it and makes him say in reality more than he is aware of expressing.
  • A living man can be enslaved and reduced to the historic condition of an object. But if he dies in refusing to be enslaved, he reaffirms the existence of another kind of human nature which refuses to be classified as an object.
    • “The Failing of Prophecy” in Existentialism Versus Marxism : Conflicting Views on Humanism (1966) by George Edward Novack

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