Albert Camus!

— Any Camus fans out there? What’s your favorite work, thoughts, etc.?

have you read the stranger?/ that`s my favorite work of camus, he wrot that about my country…

The Stranger’s great, but I’d have to say the short essay “The Myth of Sysiphus” is my favorite work of his. It’s the meaning of life unpacked in a five-minute read.

— Welcome to the forum Dean! I’ve read both. The Stranger impresses one with the profound indifference of the man and the universe in general, whereas the Myth of Sysiphus is an essay about Sysiphus “condemned to unceasing labor”, yet nevertheless happy. Camus seems to write in an easy, light, almost nihilistic manner, that is nevertheless, beautiful. I probably owe my discovery of Ortega Gasset to him also.

ive been wanting to read his stuff but i have a PILE of things to do. (excuses excuses?) a good thing his works are many but short. what are your recommendations?
ive only read a pathetically SHORT few essays : sisyphus (a must read!), back again to myself, contradictions, neither victims nor executioners, and his commentary on Kafka (i love kafka).
also the stranger (which i didnt find impressive. scratches head it was the first book i picked up and expected MUCH more. i wanted tp slap mersault.) next on my list : the plague.
recommendations please! :smiley:

— Depends on what you like. He wrote some short stories too. I now appreciate his book The Rebel more after reading it the second time. It definitely has more philosophical discussion, whereas The Stranger is more literature (which i also enjoy). I’ve got more Camus books coming in a few days, he was a journalist and also ran a theatre. I’ve read Kafka, the man is enigmatic! I really enjoyed him. I just read an essay by Gilles Deleuze called “Nomad Thought” which talks about Kafka and Nietzsche decodifying thought as opposed to recodifying thought as in Marx and Freud.

That guest post was me, wasn’t logged in. :blush:

Hi, I’m new here. I’ve recently read The Stranger by Camus and am fascinated with him. I’d like to learn more about his philosophies and would like to share some of my ideas with you guys. :smiley:

Welcome to the forum Depechegirl! Camus wrote essays, books and also for newspapers. The fall and the plague are also fictional novels by him which you might find enjoyable.

what i admire about camus is that he was able to present existentialism without the emotive arguements that usually cloud the philosophy. i think this originated from neitzsche, who got it from rousseau. i always disliked this presentation manner, and it’s always very hard for me to get ‘into’ the philosophy where there is so much emotions in the work. kant said that he had to reread rousseau until his passions died down, and then he could engage in the work, and although i’m no kant, i have to agree that there is a need to do this when feelings govern the manner in which an idea is laid out.

that said, of course there are thinkers who present existentialism without as much emotion as old soren or fred, but the great thing about camus is that he makes the philosophy seem pragmatic. of course there’s nothing to life! and of course that means we need to make a meaning! the brilliance is in the rational simplicity.

Although strictly speaking, i am not sure that one could classify Camus as an existentialist…

No, Camus was no existentialist!

He thought life absurd and that the answer was a kind of mutual aid.

Definitely, la peste!

Some of his themes seem to verge upon the Kafka-esque (as it were.)

That guest thread was me. I have read papers on the net stating that Camus’ ‘the absurd’ is similiar to ‘the tragic’ of the Greeks. Select the paper which says: A tragic vision for the new millennium…
here for instance.

Trix your quest for a World devoid of feeling is where we differ, i think. Literature can frequently bring to light how people feel and respond to moral situations to a greater degree than pure cold calculated philosophy can, although i count both as my mistress. Furthermore, philosophy itself is frequently couched within literature. You might argue that philosophy, strictly speaking, is about precise rational thinking, but it is hardly ever presented that way. Literature is more about life as both feeling and thought, even if, as compared to philosophy, it is more of an alluring muse that leaves one empty after revealing her infinite beauty. One must have substance and beauty.

Has anyone read Camus in the French? It just might not seem so dispassionate then.

a world without feeling?! what? woah! i want philosophy to be clear and conscience, not arguements presented under a flood of weightless rants/rambles. there’s a difference.

not if you stick to existentialism or romaticisim. there’s a long tradition of precise rational thinking that is presented as such. i don’t know how you can say otherwise.

alright. thanks for that. 2 things: 1. i think camus’ literature is superior to most existential philosophy (that was what my original post was about) and 2. any study of ancient philosophy demonstartes that the very beginnings of philosophy sprang from the ineffectiveness narrative has in fulfilling man’s quest for knowledge. the theme runs through the presocratics and is capitalized in book 3 of the republic, with plato’s scathing critique of the arts. of course, we’ve gone past this stage, but don’t think for a minute that you can just equate literature and philosophy as presenting the same picture from different angles.

I never tried to “equate” the two. How we think is so tied up in language. That is just the way things are. (Wittgenstein and a slew of others)

Even when you consider analytical philosophy, frequently philosophers use the same term to refer to two different things. And once again they are compelled to use language. Even precise languages with specific symbols may not be able to prove all of the truths within a system as Kurt Godel irrevocably proved. Once again, i’m not trying to equate the two (Literature and Philosophy). I am trying to delineate their differences. I can appreciate both. I am a person who both thinks and feels. And i think you feel also, especially when below you say, “I want…”.

(although i think you mean’t conscious instead of conscience) You assume that the two (philosophy and literature) are mutually exclusive. Is this an example of what ‘precise rational thinkers’ would call the excluded middle? Can we not differentiate between a philosophy and the way it is presented? “There is more between heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy…” Trix.

You seem to like Camus, however, who said, “A novel is never anything but a philosophy expressed in images. And in a good novel the philosophy has disappeared into the images.” (italics mine and not in the original) source: Albert Camus: Lyrical and critical essays pp 199 ISBN 0-394-70852-0

Lyrical and critical. Imagine that! A polymath that can enjoy both!

hardly. perhaps between several philosophers (ex. Hume’s ‘perceptions’ would probably be Locke’s ‘ideas’) but within a single philosopher? come on. i write papers on tracking specific words, and when terms are interchanged there is often a very very very legitimate reason. i honestly don’t know where you’re coming from on this.

on the limits to language. interesting that you’re trying to argue this point through language. in any event, i don’t really care and think it rather silly to discuss, using language.

i can appreciate lit, but not for the ideas (usually). there is a difference. i think also lit presents others things than ideas, so saying that looking for literature for a compact philosophy of the world is dumb, doesn’t mean that lit’s dumb. it’s got other things going for. i think you might be arguing that these other things are worthy pursuits. and they are, i wouldn’t argue with that. don’t replace literature techniques when presenting a philosophy, or you’re just fucking yourself over. neitzsche, roussuea, and many others made this mistake to their fault.

Much to their credit, contemporary philosophers have come to these conclusions regarding language. It is hard to imagine philosophy today outside of the realm of semiotics, hermeneutics, and philology. Language is the tool necessarily used by philosophers, poets, and those people who blur the line between the two.

Which words would you regard as pure philosophy then, Trix?

words i consider to be real philosophy. i’m not sure if i like the question. i think all words make up philosophy, i’m just arguing that other values/ideas can be communicated using different means. all language carries with it ideas, but not all ideas need to be carried by language.

just happened to stumble onto this site and have a question i hope someone can answer. i had heard somewhere of something camus believed about love. it goes something like: the perfect love affair is when you meet someone, fall for them head over heels, and after a breif time in the middle of the days when everything is still new and exciting, they die. this way, the memory will always be preserved. preservation through destruction. am i right? tell me where this comes from, what is the exact text?