An Author For The Ages

Joshua Hammer pays homage to Albert Camus on the 100th anniversary of his birth:

For [scholar Alice] Kaplan and other admirers, Camus was, above all, a humanist, who believed 459px-Albert_Camus2 (1)in the sanctity of life, the folly of killing for an ideology and the urgency of peaceful coexistence. “There is a Camus for every stage of life,” says Kaplan, trying to explain Camus’ staying power and relevance today. “Adolescents can identify with the alienation of Meursault. The Plague is for when you’re in college, politically engaged and sympathetic with resistance.” The Fall, Camus’ 1956 novel about the crisis of conscience of a successful Parisian lawyer, “is for 50-year-olds. It is angry, acrimonious, confronting the worst things you know about yourself.” And The First Man, a beautifully rendered, unfinished autobiographical novel published posthumously in 1994, “is Camus’ Proustian moment, his looking back on his life. You can spend your whole life with Camus.”

(Photo of Camus in 1957 by Robert Edwards via Wikimedia Commons)