Albert Camus: Elements of a Life

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Product Details
$18.95  $17.62
Cornell University Press
Publish Date
5.58 X 8.5 X 0.48 inches | 0.52 pounds

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About the Author

Robert Zaretsky is Professor of French History in the Honors College of the University of Houston. He is author of several books, including Nimes at War and Cock and Bull Stories: Folco de Baroncelli and the Invention of the Camargue. Most recently, he is coauthor of The Philosophers' Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume and the Limits of Human Understanding.

"This elegantly written and beautifully paced book will appeal to many readers. Those already in sympathy with Camus's ideas will find extra nourishment; his detractors may want to nuance their criticisms in the light of Zaretsky's contribution, while those who are not familiar with Camus will have to look hard to find a clearer and more stimulating introduction to the man and his perception of the world."--David Drake, Times Literary Supplement, March 26, 2010
"A striking book. . . . One of the great benefits of examining Camus's life through a sequence of key encounters is that it emphasizes the combative, situated nature of his work, and Zaretsky's choice of key elements is perfect. The chaos of empirical details that so often overwhelms the biographer or historian is thereby given an order and intellectual integrity that may otherwise be dissolved by the corrosiveness of raw facts. These vignettes enable Zaretsky to bring out Camus's extreme attentiveness and responsiveness to the warring forces that emerge in particular locales; Camus expresses himself differently in accordance with those situational demands. Zaretsky shows how the diverse forms taken by Camus's work always have a specific ethical import, and the ways in which they don't say things prove as significant as their positive assertions."--Justin Clemens, The Australian, 17 April 2010
"This is Camus the moralist at his most human and humane, rebellious or silent, struggling to make his choices, courageously self-critical, and permanently uneasy. The pleasure of reading Robert Zaretsky's dramatic and often poetic book is heightened by the scholarly range of comparisons from Thucydides to J. M. Synge. It shows how challenging and troubling Camus still is: our own lucidity and attention to others are fundamentally at issue."--Rod Kedward, author of France and the French: A Modern History
"Camus is a writer of great nuance and sensitivity, and Robert Zaretsky interprets Camus in a way that is both intellectually sharp and deeply personal. This is a thoughtful and beautifully written book, and I highly recommend it."--Jeffrey C. Isaac, James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, author of Arendt, Camus, and Modern Rebellion