August 13, 2013

What Camus Understood About the Middle East

Paul Berman, The New Republic

AP Photo

Albert Camus' Algerian Chronicles have never been presented, until now, in a full English translation, and this is a pity. The Chronicles contain his articles on Algerian themes for the French and Algerian press beginning in 1939 and continuing until he brought out the book in 1958, at a moment when the Algerian War had reached its halfway point. He made a number of arguments in the course of the collected articles, and some of those arguments are well known in English even without having benefited from a complete translation. These are his positions on torture (he was opposed), terrorism (likewise), and the duty of intellectuals (they ought to keep their cool). One of his arguments has been pretty much forgotten, though—and this additional argument ought to strike us as curious and...

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TAGGED: Albert Camus, Middle East, Algeria

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