Spring 1963 • Vol. XXV No. 2 NonfictionApril 1, 1963 |

Camus and the Passion of Humanism

James K. Feibleman CAMUS AND THE PASSION OF HUMANISM IN THE WORLD OF LITERATURE IT OFTEN HAPPENS THAT GREAT men have profound feelings and superficial thoughts; the most able do not let matters rest there but go on to dramatize the feelings, out of which they elicit another kind of thought that results in an art which is anything but superficial. It was not not always so, however, and there are many instances of failure. Good novelists, like Mann, wrote such bad philosophy, and good philosophers, like Santayana, such bad novels. Each had a field of competence on which he could fall back in case of trouble: Mann was an important novelist and Santayana an important philosopher. If we try to judge Camus from the same point of view and with identical canons, we experience considerable diffi- culty. Camus was responsible for a kind of literary philosophy and for vaguely philosophical novels in such equal amounts that it is difficult to say im which category he belongs. In his novels he b

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