By Robert Zaretsky
In his Nobel Prize recognition speech, Albert Camus declared writer's accountability is twofold: "the refusal to lie approximately what one is familiar with and the resistance opposed to oppression." those dual obsessions aid clarify anything of Camus' striking personality, that's the overarching topic of this sympathetic and vigorous publication. via an exploration of subject matters that preoccupied Camus--absurdity, silence, rebel, constancy, and moderation--Robert Zaretsky portrays a moralist who refused to be fooled by means of the nobler names we assign to our activities, and who driven himself, and people approximately him, to problem the established order. although we don't face an analogous hazards that threatened Europe while Camus wrote "The Myth""of Sisyphus" and "The Stranger," we confront different alarms. Herein lies Camus' abiding value. examining his paintings, we turn into extra considerate observers of our personal lives. For Camus, uprising is an everlasting human , a undying fight opposed to injustice that makes existence worthy residing. yet uprising can be bounded by means of self-imposed constraints--it is a noble if very unlikely excellent. this kind of contradiction means that if there is not any reason behind wish, there's additionally no get together for despair--a sentiment maybe higher fitted to the traditional tragedians than smooth political theorists yet one whose knowledge abides. but we mustn't ever venerate affliction, Camus cautions: the world's attractiveness calls for our realization at the least life's teach of injustices. That attractiveness allows him to claim: "It used to be the center of wintry weather, i eventually discovered that, inside of me, summer time used to be inextinguishable."
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Extra resources for A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning
27 However, there were two notable features of the festive image of Napoleon III. The first was the almost complete absence of reference to the events of December 1851. The coup d'etat and the political repression that ensued were generally not matters for celebration and rejoicing, even among hardened Bonapartist activists and sympathizers. "28 But such robustly graphic language was extremely rare. "3o Such dazzling light was perhaps needed to cover the darker deeds that had marked the founding of the regime in the early 1850s: the coup d'etat itself; the repression in Paris and in the provinces in its immediate aftermath; and the imprisonment and exile of many thousands of republican activists.
Across France even Napoleon Ill's image was subject to considerable variations in style and presentation as well as in substance. As a symbolic figurehead, the emperor was omnipresent in the festivities of August 15: almost every commune possessed a bust of Napoleon III, which was wheeled out during the ceremonies and evening festivities. More zealous-and imaginative-local Bonapartists found many other ways of reminding their fellow citizens of the centrality of their emperor. In the commune of Roquebrussane (Var) in 1852, the municipality was lavishly illuminated on the evening of the national festivity; in front of the building the inhabitants discovered a large framed portrait of Louis-Napoleon, surrounded by a garland of flowers.
Within each department, there were localities where the Saint-Napoleon was warmly and enthusiastically celebrated, and others-sometimes just a few miles away-where the opposite was the case. As we shall see, while these variations were sometimes caused by national political factors, the critical weight(s) that swung the balance one way rather than Introduction 17 another tended to be irreducibly local. The enthusiasm of the local state officials; the degree of authority of the mayor; the number of opposition municipal councilors; the relationship between the municipality and the local clergy, and between the latter and the state; the number of Napoleonic war veterans present in the commune-all these micro-level variables were the ones that really counted on the day.
A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning by Robert Zaretsky