Summer 1958 • Vol. XX No. 3 Nonfiction |

Albert Camus: The Plague of Absurdity

In an interview published last year in the Book Review of the New York Times, Albert Camus explained that his latest novel is aimed at the existentialists, who, like the protagonist of The Fall, are possessed by a "mania for self-accusation, so that they can accuse others more easily." Such a statement may not seem surprising after the controversy between Camus and Sartre which reached the pages of Les Temps Modernes in 1952; however, the reader of the earlier Myth of Sisyphus and The Stranger may well wonder how Camus could have been brought to make this accusation after having identified himself so closely with the existentialist attitude. For while he may have said of the existentialists, in Sisyphus, that they are attempting to escape from man's absurd condition, it is only theistic existentialism with its "leap" to God and its loss of lucidity that Camus condemns as a denial of life. The absurd man is described in Sisyphus in existential terms: he is "completely turned towa

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