Albert Camus: Solitude and Solidarity


LA Review of Books’ Robert Zaretsky reviews Albert Camus: Solitude and Solidarity:  “…the book is a remarkable effort at recapturing — or, for many readers, simply capturing for the first time — a man whose life and work matter as greatly today as they did in his own era.”

This new biography of Camus, published in France last year and now available in English translation, is an attempt to tell Camus’ story in photographs and documents. French Algeria and hardline tenacity loom large in Zaretsky’s understanding of Camus’ life and Zaretsky holds that the desert is the image that best sums up the author/philosopher’s life. Camus himself, who partnered with Walt Disney in 1954 , stated in his essay for Disney’s documentary The Living Desert:  “Where no man can live, some perhaps can learn about life…Who could tolerate discrimination and hatred, let alone survive in the desert that is in us all, without the impervious obstinacy that refuses to give in and treats death itself as a triumph?”

Graham Todd is an intern at The Rumpus. He spends his mornings writing post-apocalyptic, vaguely biblical sci-fi horror comedy, his evenings tutoring the wide-eyed youth of the Palo Alto area, and his Thursdays at The Rumpus office, effectively “off the streets”. Beyond this weekly ritual, he enjoys karaoke, the movies, and jogging. More from this author →