Existence precedes essence Sartre claimed that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essencewhich means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings "existence" —rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit "essence".
Critical and Biographical Studies 1. He was the second child of Lucien Auguste Camus, a military veteran and wine-shipping clerk, and of Catherine Helene Sintes Camus, a house-keeper and part-time factory worker. Shortly after the outbreak of WWI, when Camus was less than a year old, his father was recalled to military service and, on October 11,died of shrapnel wounds suffered at the first battle of the Marne.
As a child, about the only thing Camus ever learned about his father was that he had once become violently ill after witnessing a public execution.
In his posthumously published autobiographical novel The First Man, Camus recalls this period of his life with a mixture of pain and affection as he describes conditions of harsh poverty the three-room apartment had no bathroom, no electricity, and no running water relieved by hunting trips, family outings, childhood games, and scenic flashes of sun, seashore, mountain, and desert.
These father figures introduced him to a new world of history and imagination and to literary landscapes far beyond the dusty streets of Belcourt and working-class poverty.
It was in secondary school that Camus became an avid reader absorbing Gide, Proust, Verlaine, and Bergson, among otherslearned Latin and English, and developed a lifelong interest in literature, art, theatre, and film. He also enjoyed sports, especially soccer, of which he once wrote recalling his early experience as a goal-keeper: That helped me in later life, especially in mainland France, where nobody plays straight.
Among his various employments during the time were stints of routine office work where one job consisted of a Bartleby-like recording and sifting of meteorological data and another involved paper shuffling in an auto license bureau.
One can well imagine that it was as a result of this experience that his famous conception of Sisyphean struggle, heroic defiance in the face of the Absurd, first began to take shape within his imagination.
That same year Camus also earned his degree and completed his dissertation, a study of the influence of Plotinus and neo-Platonism on the thought and writings of St. Over the next three years Camus further established himself as an emerging author, journalist, and theatre professional.
The name change signaled a new emphasis on classic drama and avant-garde aesthetics and a shift away from labor politics and agitprop. It was during this period that he also published his first two literary works—Betwixt and Between, a collection of five short semi-autobiographical and philosophical pieces and Nuptials, a series of lyrical celebrations interspersed with political and philosophical reflections on North Africa and the Mediterranean.
He started the decade as a locally acclaimed author and playwright, but he was a figure virtually unknown outside the city of Algiers; however, he ended the decade as an internationally recognized novelist, dramatist, journalist, philosophical essayist, and champion of freedom. This period of his life began inauspiciously—war in Europe, the occupation of France, official censorship, and a widening crackdown on left-wing journals.
Camus was still without stable employment or steady income when, after marrying his second wife, Francine Faure, in December ofhe departed Lyons, where he had been working as a journalist, and returned to Algeria.
To help make ends meet, he taught part-time French history and geography at a private school in Oran. All the while he was putting finishing touches to his first novel The Stranger, which was finally published in to favorable critical response, including a lengthy and penetrating review by Jean-Paul Sartre.
The novel propelled him into immediate literary renown. Camus returned to France in and a year later began working for the clandestine newspaper Combat, the journalistic arm and voice of the French Resistance movement.
During this period, while contending with recurrent bouts of tuberculosis, he also published The Myth of Sisyphus, his philosophical anatomy of suicide and the absurd, and joined Gallimard Publishing as an editor, a position he held until his death.
After the Liberation, Camus continued as editor of Combat, oversaw the production and publication of two plays, The Misunderstanding and Caligula, and assumed a leading role in Parisian intellectual society in the company of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir among others.
In the late 40s his growing reputation as a writer and thinker was enlarged by the publication of The Plague, an allegorical novel and fictional parable of the Nazi Occupation and the duty of revolt, and by the lecture tours to the United States and South America.
In he published The Rebel, a reflection on the nature of freedom and rebellion and a philosophical critique of revolutionary violence.Albert Camus (/ k æ ˈ m uː /; French: [albɛʁ kamy] (); 7 November – 4 January ) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist.
His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as timberdesignmag.com wrote in his essay The Rebel that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom.
With lyric eloquence, Albert Camus brilliantly posits a way out of despair, reaffirming the value of personal existence, and the possibility of life lived with dignity and authenticity.
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One of the most influential works of this century, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought/5(). The Myth of Sisyphus (French: Le Mythe de Sisyphe) is a philosophical essay by Albert Camus. The English translation by Justin O'Brien was first published in The English translation by Justin O'Brien was first published in Published: (Éditions Gallimard, in French), (Hamish Hamilton, in English).
Camus' early essay collection Noces (Nuptials) features essays set amidst classical Roman ruins; as the Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel (which takes as its hero Prometheus) both are rooted in Camus' classical paideia.
Summary. The central concern of The Myth of Sisyphus is what Camus calls "the absurd." Camus claims that there is a fundamental conflict between what we want from the universe (whether it be meaning, order, or reasons) and what we find in the universe (formless chaos).