Cover image for Camus : portrait of a moralist
Title:
Camus : portrait of a moralist
Author:
Bronner, Stephen Eric, 1949-
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xiii, 178 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780816632831

9780816632848
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PQ2605.A3734 Z6256 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Four decades after his death, Albert Camus (1913-1960) is still regarded as one of the most influential intellectuals of this century. In Camus: Portrait of a Moralist, Stephen Eric Bronner illuminates the writer's life and work. Balancing art, politics, and philosophy, this study provides fresh perspective on Camus's fiction, drama, and philosophical writings, and sheds new light on the cultural, political, and historical context within which he wrote.

Beginning with his impoverished childhood in colonial Algeria, this volume traces Camus's career from his dissertation on Christian metaphysics to the accomplished works of his mature period and his continuing relevance today. Bronner's new and often innovative readings of the major works -- from The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus, Caligula, The Plague, and The Fall to the posthumously published The First Man -- unite Camus's aesthetic concerns with his political beliefs.

Through these lucid interpretations, Bronner presents a portrait of Camus as a figure of fundamental decency in a time of moral absolutism. The result is a concise, informed, and eminently readable intellectual biography that offers new insight into Camus's legacy.


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Arguing that a balanced philosophical and artistic treatment of Albert Camus is lacking, Bronner (political science/comparative literature, Rutgers Univ.) combines biographical facts with analyses of Camus's novels and plays to elucidate Camus's role as a moralist. He succeeds in explaining Camus's unique sense of personal responsibility and his lucidity, tolerance, and honesty. Bronner's discussion of Camus's earlier works like The Stranger and Caligula offer few new insights, but his helpful analyses of the play The Just and the treatise The Rebel clarify Camus's political ethics, whereby murder in most cases cannot be justified. Such a stance distanced Camus from fellow existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, who insisted on political "engagement" and who continued to justify the excesses of the Soviet Union for many years. Bronner rightfully concludes that Camus created a "positive morality, if not a sense of ethics, capable of providing rules for secular living." This specialized analysis will appeal to comparativists and literary scholars.ÄRobert T. Ivey, Univ. of Memphis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal Review

Arguing that a balanced philosophical and artistic treatment of Albert Camus is lacking, Bronner (political science/comparative literature, Rutgers Univ.) combines biographical facts with analyses of Camus's novels and plays to elucidate Camus's role as a moralist. He succeeds in explaining Camus's unique sense of personal responsibility and his lucidity, tolerance, and honesty. Bronner's discussion of Camus's earlier works like The Stranger and Caligula offer few new insights, but his helpful analyses of the play The Just and the treatise The Rebel clarify Camus's political ethics, whereby murder in most cases cannot be justified. Such a stance distanced Camus from fellow existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, who insisted on political "engagement" and who continued to justify the excesses of the Soviet Union for many years. Bronner rightfully concludes that Camus created a "positive morality, if not a sense of ethics, capable of providing rules for secular living." This specialized analysis will appeal to comparativists and literary scholars.ÄRobert T. Ivey, Univ. of Memphis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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