Albert Camus

November 10, 2013

Albert Camus was many things:  war hero, Nobel Prize-winning novelist, and one of the 20th century’s most fascinating public thinkers.  We examine the life and legacy of Camus on his 100th birthday: how a poor kid from Algeria became a revered French writer, hungry to find meaning in an absurd world, and why Camus still has a lot to tell us about a world mired in political violence.

  1. Why Camus?

    Why does Albert Camus still fascinate us?  Steve Paulson explores his life - from growing up poor in Algeria to his breakthrough novel "The Stranger"; from his quarrel with Jean-Paul Sartre to his controverisal response to Algeria's war for independence.

    Average: 3.2 (6 votes)
  2. Geoff Dyer on Camus

    Literary critic Geoff Dyer goes to Algeria on a Camus pilgrimage, looking for traces of the great writer and some insight into his own life.

    Average: 4.3 (3 votes)
  3. "The Myth of Sisyphus" - Mark Rowlands

    What's the real meaning of Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus"?  Philosopher Mark Rowlands unpacks this classic fable about life's meaning and absurdity.

    Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
  4. Albert Camus & Jacques Monod - Sean Carroll

    One of the largely unknown stories about Camus was his friendship with the scientist Jacques Monod.  Both later won Nobel prizes - Camus for literature, Monod for biology - and both were heroes of the French Resistance.

    Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
  5. Growing Up Absurd - Steve Paulson

    Camus said there's only one truly serious philosophical question, and that's suicide.  35 years ago, that idea sparked the single most terrifying moment of Steve Paulson's life.  Steve tells the story.

    Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
  6. Against Suicide - Jennifer Hecht

    It's a sad fact that the number of suicides has exploded in recent decades. Writer Jennifer Hecht, who's lost two friends to it, makes a philosophical argument against suicide.

    Average: 4.8 (5 votes)