Born on November 7th, 1913 in Mondovi, French Algeria (now Algeria), Albert Camus’s parents were poor agricultural workers. Despite his improvised upbringing, Albert Camus wanted to become an author and was able to pursue his dream when he was accepted into The University of Algeria in 1923. However, being an author, was not Albert Camus’s only achievement, so let’s discover who he is and what he accomplished with some fun facts about his life.
1. Diagnosed with Tuberculosis
Did you know that this famous author used to play football? If you didn’t know about his football activities, it’s probably because he was forced to stop playing when he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. His diagnosis is also the reason he had to cut his school classes and study time in half. In fact, he was forced to take up part-time jobs in order to earn a living after receiving his diagnosis; his positions included private tutoring, working as a car parts clerk, and being an assistant at the Meteorological Institute.
Being diagnosed with Tuberculosis didn’t start Albert Camus from completing his degree in 1935. He finished his thesis, Neo-Platonism and Christian Thought, and obtained his diploma d’etudes superieures which is the equivalent of an MA.
2. Political Journalism
While working to become an author, Camus also worked as a journalist reporting on the political situation in French Algeria. In 1935, Camus joined the French Communist Party to fight against the Europeans for Algerian equality. He later joined the Algerian People’s Party until he was denounced and expelled from the party in 1937 for being a Trotskyite. After his expulsion, he joined the French Anarchist movement and wrote for their publication. His political journalism career continued for the majority of his life.
3. Camus in the Theater
Aside from being an author and a political journalist, Camus also founded and worked in the theater. He founded the Worker’s Theatre, which was later renamed the Team’s Theatre around 1937 and lasted until 1939.
4. He was a philosopher
Starting in 1949, Camus became a recluse for the next two years, because his Tuberculosis returned. It is during this time that he published, The Rebel, which was a philosophical analysis of rebellion and revolution. His main contribution to the philosophical world was his introduction to the “idea of the absurd,” which Camus explained was the people’s desire for both clarity and meaning in our world that offers neither. It is an idea that Camus routinely came back to and explored in his writing.
5. Human Rights and the Nobel Prize
Camus worked for UNESCO, to actively improve human rights. Camus resigned from the UN in 1952, when they accepted Spain while it was under the leadership of General Franco. However, he continued to advocate for human rights and it is reflected in his literary works. In 1957, he won the Nobel Prize for his essay against capital punishment, “Reflections on the Guillotine”.
Albert Camus was a man that was interested in everything. He accomplished so much in his life, because he didn’t set limits on what he could do. He was an author, a playwright, a political journalist, and a human rights advocate. To see learn more about his noble prize click here and to view my reference material click here.
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