Albert Camus


Albert Camus is one of the most renowned authors in the twentieth century. With works such as Caligula, The Stranger, Nuptials, and The Plague, he has impacted the world of literature to a great extent. This great success was not just "given" to him "on a silver platter" however. He endured many hardships and was plagued with great illness in his short life. Camus is a great role model and idol for us all.
Camus was born into poverty on November 2, 1913 in Mondovi, Algeria (a former French colony in Africa). His mother, Catherine Sintes, was a cleaning woman, and his father, Lucien Camus, was a farmhand. Only a few months old, Albert lost his father in the horrors of World War I in 1914. After the loss of his father, him, his brother and his mother moved in to his grandmother's three-bedroom apartment with his two uncles. The only way Albert "escaped" from this harsh reality was on the beaches of Algiers. At the age of fourteen, Camus was diagnosed with the first stages of tuberculosis. This disease plagued him for the rest of his life. At age seventeen, Albert moved in with his uncle by marriage, Gustave Acault, who provided Albert with a better environment as well as an actual father figure. After enduring the hardships of his childhood, Camus began writing at age seventeen.
Camus wrote many influential works and gained much success, starting at age seventeen, when he decided to strive to become a writer. Albert's first "literary experience" was gained as a member of the "North African Literary Group." By 1932, he was writing articles for the magazine entitled Sud. Albert entered the University of Algiers on scholarships in this same year. As an art critic, he wrote articles for the newspaper Alger-Etudiant in 1934. In the same year he married Simon Hie who was wealthy but was plagued with a drug addiction. This marriage only lasted for about two years. After earning a degree in 1935, Camus was awarded the diplome d'etudes superieures with his thesis "Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism." In 1934 he became a member of the Communist Party, but this only lasted until 1937. Albert was also a successful journalist, writing for the Alger Republicain, the Paris-Soir, and the Combat. On December 3,1940, Albert Camus married for the second time to Francine Fautre. After all of this success, some fabulous works followed.
Albert Camus wrote many novels, plays, and essays. Some of his novels include A Happy Death, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus, and The Plague. With the money he made from the publishing of The Plague, he paid the University of Algiers back fifteenfold. Some plays include Caligula, The Misunderstanding, State of Siege (which was very unsuccessful), and The Just Assassins. He also wrote many books of essays including L'Evers et l'endroit, Noces, and Nuptials. All of these works led to his greatest achievement; he was awarded the Nobel Prize in October 1957 "for his important literary works which shed light on the problems today facing the human conscience."
Unfortunately Albert's successful life was brought to an end on January 4, 1960, at the age of forty-six. He was negotiating with Andre Malraux, the Minister of State and Cultural Affairs, to buy Recamier Theater in Paris. On returning to Paris, in a car driven by his friend Michel Gallimard, he was in a horrible car accident. The car went out of control and crashed into a tree on the side of the road. This tragedy brought the end of a great writer and role model who is still known as one of the greatest authors of all time.