Lottman, Herbert R.: Albert Camus – A Biography


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”When Albert Camus died in a car crash in January 1960 he was only 46 years old – already a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and a world figure – author of the enigmatic The Stranger, the fable called The Plague, but also of the combative The Rebel – which attacked the ’politically correct’ among his contemporaries. Thanks to his early literary achievement, his work for the underground newspaper Combat and his editorship of that daily in its Post-Liberation incarnation, Camus’ voice seemed the conscience of postwar France. But it was a very personal voice that rejected the conventional wisdom, rejected ideologies that called for killing in the cause of justice. His call for personal responsibility will seem equally applicable today, when Camus’ voice is silent and has not been replaced. The secrecy which surrounded Algerian-born Camus’ own life, public and private – a function of illness and psychological self-defense in a Paris in which he still felt himself a stranger – seemed to make the biographer’s job impossible. Lottman’s Albert Camus was the first and remains the definitive biography – even in France. On publication it was hailed by New York Times reviewer John ”What emerges from Mr. Lottman’s tireless devotions is a portrait of the artist, the outsider, the humanist and skeptic, that breaks the heart.””


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