FRE 524 / HUM 524

20th-Century French Narrative Prose: Albert Camus: Writing in Motion

André Benhaïm

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We examine the works and figure of Albert Camus – to redefine them. Through the study of his most acclaimed narratives, plays, essays, but also his more obscure juvenilia, notebooks, and up to his last, unfinished novel, we see what confirms the canonical (sometimes sanctified) dimension of Camus, and what challenges it. Looking at his critical reception and his own assessments, we assess his greatest accomplishments, his shortcomings and even (self-proclaimed) failures. Always in between, eternally moving, we reconsider Camus as concerned as much by politics as he was by poetics.

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