Rebel with a Cause

Albert Camus and the Politics of Celebrity
  • Derek Parker Royal


albert camus opens his foundational essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, with a challenging and now-famous dictum: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.”1 Almost twenty years after the publication of these words, the author died in a car accident, a death that resulted not from any nihilistic purpose of his own hand but from a fateful combination of uncertain road conditions and questionable automotive circumstances. As the above quotation suggests, death was a thematic cornerstone of Camus’s writings, and he spent most of his literary life articulating a moral philosophy surrounding this inevitability. Indeed, his writings, as well as his life, have gained meaning largely within the context of his death.


Political Moderation American Readership French Writer Moral Absolutism Democratic Center 
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    The following account of Camus’s death is taken from Lottman’s seminal biography. See Herbert R. Lottman, Albert Camus (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979).Google Scholar
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    For a fascinating study on the cultural appropriation of Orwell, see John Rodden, The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of “St. George” Orwell (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Mikita Brottman 2001

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  • Derek Parker Royal

There are no affiliations available

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