Friendship Poems

Albert Camus Biography

Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913 in Mondovi, Algeria to a French settler family. His half-deaf mother was of Spanish descent. His father, Lucien, was a poor agricultural worker of Alsatian origin, who died in the Battle of the Marne in 1914, during World War I. Camus grew up in extremely poor conditions in the Belcourt section of Algiers. In 1923, he was accepted into the LycĂ©e and eventually attended the University of Algiers. Sadly, he contracted tuberculosis in 1930, which subsequently put an end to his football activities, where he had been a goalkeeper for the university team, and forced him to pursue his studies part-time. He took odd jobs including private tutor, car parts clerk and working for the Meteorological Institute. He completed his degree, a Bachelor of Arts, in 1935. In May of 1936, he successfully presented his thesis for his Master’s Degree.

Camus joined the French Communist Party in the spring of 1935. He saw it as a way to fight inequalities between Europeans and native Algerians in Algeria. Camus also joined the activities of the Algerian People’s Party which got him into trouble with his Communist Party comrades. As a result, he was publicly denounced as a Trotskyite and expelled from the party in 1937. Camus would eventually be closely associated with the French anarchist movement.

Camus went on to write for many anarchist publications. He also stood with the anarchists when they expressed support for the 1953 uprising in East Germany. He again marched with the anarchists in 1956, first with the workers’ uprising in Poznan, Poland, and then later in the year with the Hungarian Revolution.

In 1934, he married Simone Hie, a morphine addict, but the marriage ended as a consequence of mutual infidelities. In 1940, Camus married again, this time to Francine Faure, a pianist and mathematician. Although he loved Francine, he argued passionately against the institution of marriage, often dismissing it as unnatural. Even after Francine gave birth to twins, Catherine and Jean, on September 5, 1945, he continued to joke with friends that he was not cut out for marriage. Camus carried on numerous affairs. His liaison with the Spanish-born actress Maria Casares was an irregular and eventually public affair.

Camus was a prolific writer who published novels, short stories, non-fiction, essays, plays and collections. His works were also influential in both film and music. He is perhaps best known for his major works entitled Solidarity in The Stranger and Solidarity in The Plague.

Camus received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957 and was praised for how his work reflected the needs of the human consciousness.

Camus died on January 4, 1960 in an automobile accident near Sens, in the small town of Villeblevin. There was an unused train ticket in his coat pocket. Some speculated that he had planned to travel by train, but decided to go by car instead. The driver of the car, Michel Gallimard, his publisher and close friend, was also killed in the accident. Camus was buried in the Lourmarin Cemetery. He is survived by his twins, Catherine and Jean, who hold the copyrights to his body of work.

Two of Camus’ major works were published posthumously. The first, A Happy Death, was published in 1970 and featured a character named Meursault, as in The Stranger, though there is some debate as to whether there was a relationship between the two stories. The second posthumous publication was an unfinished novel that Camus was writing before he died, titled The First Man. The novel was an autobiographical work about his childhood in Algeria and was finally published in 1995.


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