Friday, October 25, 2019

The Life Work, and Creativity of Albert Camus :: Biographies

The Life Work, and Creativity of Albert Camus "Yes, I have a country -- the French language." -Albert Camus Albert Camus was a man consumed by three images--his mother, the Mediterranean, and death. His greatest creative achievement, his writing, would center around these images, images that would be transformed into great ideas through simple and refined words. Albert Camus lived the life of the creative genius according to Howard Gardner's model of creativity. His writing has left a lasting impression on the literary world and his life has left a fascinating legacy on the notion of creativity. Childhood Albert Camus was born on November 1, 1913 in Mondovi, a village in the Algerian interior. His ancestors on his father's side arrived after the 1830 conquest of Algeria from France and his mother's side came from Spain. A certain amount of pride accompanied Camus' mixed racial descent. Yet, it was only in Algeria that Camus would ever truly belong. Mondovi was surrounded by vineyards and it was there that Camus' father, Lucien Auguste Camus, found employment. He worked on a grape farm helping in the manufacture of wine. Camus never had the chance to know his father, for he died before Camus had even reached the age of one. He was called off to war where he was fatally wounded at the Marne. Camus thus loathed bloodshed and was constantly haunted by the idea that his generation was cursed by wars. Because his mother, Catherine, spoke so little of his father, Camus knew virtually nothing of the man that he had been. The one detail that his mother did recount of his father was that he had once attended an execution, He watched the death of a mass murderer and yet afterwards he "threw himself on the bed and began to vomit" (McCarthy, 11). Camus never forgot this image and would later write against and about the death penalty. Catherine, Albert, and his older brother Lucien moved in with her family after the death of Lucien Auguste to the Algiers suburb of Belcourt in the working-class area, crowded with apartment buildings and factories. An emotional poverty reined over Albert's life in Belcourt. His grandmother, the talkative, strong-minded queen of the household, became his principle care-taker. Though Camus admired his grandmother's pride, he found her to be harsh and selfish, and he feared her. She was greatly critical of her daughter for having married a man who had died so young, leaving her alone with two children.

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