Biography of Albert Camus (1913-1960)

Albert Camus.

French writer, born at Mondovì (Algeria) on November 7, 1913 and died in Villeblerin (Yonne, France) on January 4, 1960. He was one of the main representatives of Existentialism. It is one of the most important voices of the mid-20th-century French literature. With his novels, essays and his plays reached universal fame, especially after having been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957.


Mondovì (now called Drean) was a city of Algeria, where lived his family, which was French (at that time, Algeria belonged to France). At home there was no money, so their parents had to make great sacrifices so that he could study at the University of Algiers. But he soon left College due to a serious illness (tuberculosis).

It was, as a child, a big fan literature and theatre. He founded a theatrical company that was touring poor neighborhoods and workplaces where there were workers, offering representation for the working class.

Then she found work as a journalist and, for business reasons, he began to travel frequently to Europe. During these trips he was putting abreast of trends and the most advanced literary tastes.

It became known as a writer shortly before the second world war, with the publication of a book entitled weddings (1939). In it he collected his major articles on literature and travel. He won fame as a columnist and Reporter (specialties of journalism) and, in 1940, he went to France, where he was hired as editor of the newspaper Paris-Soir.

Shortly after, during the invasion of France by the German army, defended his country as a member of the resistance. Among other activities, Camus directed Combat magazine, which was distributed among the members of the resistance.

During the second world war, Camus had published a novel that would give him fame around the world: the stranger (1942). Just end the armed struggle, had great success as a playwright, at the time published other novels that put him at the head of Existentialist writers.

All these works earned him the Nobel Prize in 1957. Three years later, when moving drive by the municipal district of Villeblerin, he had an accident in which he lost his life.


Albert Camus is the culmination of Existentialism in the fictional narrative. In his narrative work is perfectly reflect all the troubles and fears of man of mid-20th century, terrified after a tragedy of the proportions of the second world war.

His most original feature, within this common thinking, is the praise of some qualities of a human being. Camus sees something positive in the man: his ability to overcome the disaster with dignity, and their need to share their joys and fears with other men. Thus, the novels of Camus, written in a direct, vigorous, and dry style present hope and human solidarity as a solution to the absurd.

Abroad (1942), set in Algeria, as many other works which he then wrote Camus, appear their first thoughts about Existentialism. But his masterpiece is the plague (1947), which shows his idea about the absurd thing that can become human life with greater intensity. Camus invents a tragic situation, the terrible effects of an epidemic of plague in Oran (Algeria), to present the different reactions of the human being to the disaster, misfortune and death.

In addition, he wrote other narrations as the fall (1956); a collection of short stories entitled exile and the Kingdom (1957); the novel of youth a happy death, which was not published until 1971; and the first man, who failed to finish.

His most famous dramatic works are Existentialist themes (as well as his novels), which treated as misunderstanding (1944), the State of siege (1948) or the fair (1950). Caligula, written in 1938 but not performed until 1945, is his masterpiece within the theatrical genre, and one of the most representative of the Existentialist theatre pieces.

Many of the Existentialist ideas that Camus presents in his novels and plays were also reflected in their texts of thought and reflection (or trials). For example, the myth of Sisyphus (1942) is an essay on suicide, and the rebel (1951) served as the starting point for his novel the fall.

Camus collected many of his journalistic articles in books such as current (published in three volumes: 1950, 1953 and 1958) or summer (1954).