A memory of Albert Camus
First broadcast date
In 1967 Algiers, evocation of the period when Albert Camus wrote ‘The Stranger’ that made him famous worldwide. Precious testimonies of Edmond Charlot, editor in Algiers, who evokes the Belcourt of that time, Emmanuel Robbles, another famous black foot writer, and the great Luchino Visconti, currently adapting ‘The Stranger’, starring of Marcello Mastroianni in the streets of Algiers.
- Camus Albert
- Mastroianni Marcello
- Visconti Luchino
Languages and literatures
- Art, Culture and Knowledge / Cinemas
Credits / Cast
- Lariagga Gilbert - Director
- Algeria - Centre - Algiers
- Algeria - Centre - Tipasa
Albert Camus was born in 1913 at Mondovi in Algeria, into a poor family (his father, an agricultural worker, was killed in the First World War). However, encouraged by his primary school teacher Louis Germain, then by one of his secondary school teachers, Jean Grenier, he was able to continue first into secondary school and then to university where he read philosophy, thanks to a scholarship and despite contracting TB while he was there. Very young he wrote for magazines and newspapers in Algiers, then in Paris. He published his first novel, L'Etranger (The Outsider) in 1942 and an essay on the philosophical question of the absurd, "Le Mythe de Sisyphe" (The Myth of Sisyphus). He joined the Resistance in the movement known as Combat which published an underground newspaper of the same name, of which he became editor in 1943. He also wrote for the theatre (Caligula, Le Malentendu, Les Justes)(Caligula, The Misunderstanding and The Just Assassins). In 1947 his next novel, La Peste (The Plague), brought him huge success. He developed his philosophical stand, that of revolt, in L'Homme révolté (1951 The Rebel). He was personally deeply affected by the the war in Algeria, being unable "to rejoice in any death, whosever it may be" In 1957, the year after the publication of his next novel, La Chute (The Fall), he was given the Nobel prize for literature.
In 1958, thanks to the Nobel prize money, he bought a house in the south of France, once used for cultivating silk worms and making silk, in the Rue de l'Eglise at Lourmarin, at the foot of Mount Lubéron, near the home of his friend René Char. He travelled all over the region, which he said reminded him of Algeria, and made friends with many people in the village.
In the autumn of 1959 he was using Lourmarin as a place to work in solitude, writing another novel, Le Premier homme (The First Man), which contained certain autobiographical elements. His wife and their two children came to be with him for Christmas and New year, then left by the Paris train on January 2nd. Camus decided instead to go back to the capital by car, with Michel and Janine Gallimard and their daughter who had come over from Grasse to visit him. They left Lourmarin on January 3rd in Gallimard's powerful Facel Vega. After a stop at Macon they drove on to Paris. On the 4th at 1:55 p.m. Michel Gallimard lost control of his car and crashed into a plane tree. Gallimard was seriously injured and died 5 days later. Albert Camus, sitting next to him, was killed instantly. In his pocket was the train ticket to Paris. A week later he was buried at Lourmarin. More than 30 years later, in 1994, his daughter Catherine Camus, who still lives at Lourmarin, published the uncompleted First Man which her father had in his luggage on the day he was killed on the Route National 5 near Champigny-sur-Yonne.
Albert Camus, Oeuvres complètes, 4 volumes, Paris, Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 2006-2008.
Albert Camus, Album, Paris, Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1982.
Albert Camus – all his work is available in English, published by Penguin Books, including The First Man. Penguin also publish "The Essential Albert Camus Boxed Set" (2011)
Olivier Todd, Albert Camus, une vie, Paris, Gallimard, 1996.