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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Albert Camus

Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913  in Dréan (then known as Mondovi) in French Algeria.

Albert's father, Lucien, was a poor agricultural worker of Alsatian descent and his mother, an illiterate house cleaner of Spanish descent.

His father, was wounded in the Battle of the Marne in 1914 during World War I, while serving as a member of a Zouave infantry regiment. Lucien died later in the year from his wounds in a makeshift army hospital.

Albert and his mother lived without many basic material possessions during his childhood in the Belcourt section of Algiers.

Camus  played as goalkeeper for Racing Universitaire d'Alger until he contracted tuberculosis in 1930.(RUA won both the North African Champions Cup and the North African Cup twice each in the 1930s).

Tuberculosis also prevented Camus from attending university for two years, though after recovering he enrolled in the school of philosophy at the University of Algiers, financing his studies with a series of odd jobs.

The year 1937 saw the publication of Camus' first book, an essay collection called The Wrong Side and the Right Side.

He was active within the French Resistance to the German occupation of France during World War II, even directing the famous Resistance journal, Combat.

Camus's criticism of communism in L'Homme révolté/The Rebel (1951) led to a protracted quarrel with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, after Rudyard Kipling.

The prize was awarded largely for Camus' extended essay Reflections on the Guillotine, which argued against capital punishment.

Photograph by United Press International

A keen smoker, Camus named his cat Cigarette.

He had intense Motorphobia (fear of automobiles), and thus avoided riding in cars as much as possible. Camus instead, took trains everywhere, as much as possible. Ironically, he died in a car accident on January 4, 1960 aged 46, with return train ticket in his coat pocket, after a friend persuaded him to ride in his car.

Source India Today

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