Discovering Albert Camus

The Rejection Atheism in Favor of Traditional Religious Belief

Michael "Mick" Bisignani

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I recently decided to refresh my knowledge and understanding of Albert Camus, a fascinating intellectual in the modern French literary, artistic and philosophical scene. [1] He seems to be one of those characters that emerged when the world, and especially Western Europe was trying to rationalize the aftermath of two world wars, the cultural and political tsunamis of the sixties and the political and military strain of the Cold war. Today, there is some evidence for a resurgence in interest in Camus. Analyzing interest through topics that act as proxy indicators for social unease and anxiety, for individual quests for a deeper life meaning and more generally for inquiries seeking to learn about new and better ways of coping with the ups and downs of life. Overall, it is easy to find evidence that searches against YouTube for terms such as “Existentialism, Catholicism and Absurdism “ are on the rise. [2]

Rue du Temple — Lourmarin, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur — source Google Maps

My first exposure to Camus happened several years ago , while reading about the French language. Camus was referred to as a master of the French language despite having grown up in Algeria under disadvantaged conditions, one of the many potentially forgotten “Pied-Noir” people, part of a complex Franco-Algerian society finding its way in the early 1900s. His early life resonated with me. Tales of the Underdog class always intrigue me. Among his works, the masterpiece “L’Étranger” easily caught my attention. Through a quick internet search, it was easy to find the text of the opening paragraph of the novel. and indeed, the entire work, as a downloadable document.

Wow, even after repeated readings, it still manages to strike a cord. Just listen to this.

Opening Lines of L’Étranger

Translation:

Today, mother died. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know. I received a telegram from the home: ‘Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.’ That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.”

The opening paragraph perfectly sets the psychological tone for this relatively short novel, and helps us predict Meursault’s

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Michael "Mick" Bisignani

Professional Technologist, Aspiring Food Celebrity. Catholic spreading messages of Empathy and Equality.