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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Albert Camus Centenary, November 2013

Reading Le Monde in La Rochelle, I was reminded that next year is the centenary of  the birth of Albert Camus (on 7 November 2013, to be precise; born Dréan/Mondovi in French Algeria).

It seems that the appointment of the commissioner of the centenary exhibition has proved controversial, with some suggestions of state interference. More on this.

Marseille, European Capital of Culture, 2013:

"One special figure will be watching over Marseille, European Capital of Culture: the writer Albert Camus, the centenary of whose birth will be celebrated in 2013. An exhibition entitled Camus and the Mediterranean will be devoted to the humanist values he espoused, a conference will discuss Camus and the Pensée de Midi and an original opera based on one of his plays, probably Les Justes (The Just), will be performed for the first time".

Under the tutelage of Albert Camus (pdf)

An illustrated edition of "The Outsider".
From Amazon (France)

Last night I dreamt of Tipasa.

"Je comprends ici ce qu'on appelle gloire: le droit d'aimer sans mesure".

 The ideal destination in 2013, perhaps in the Spring- or even in November/December?

"Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un été invincible".

What wonderful, lyrical prose:

"Et sous la lumière glorieuse de décembre, comme il arrive une ou deux fois seulement dans les vies qui, après cela, peuvent s’estimer comblées, je retrouvai exactement ce que j’étais venu chercher et qui, malgré le temps et le monde, m’était offert, à moi seul vraiment, dans cette nature déserte…

Il y a ainsi une volonté de vivre sans rien refuser de la vie qui est la virtu que j’honore le plus en ce monde."

There are times when I still feel like that in Greece.

From Camus' Poem on the Mediterranean (written aged 20, in 1933):

More about Tipasa

Tipasa for Albert Camus was somewhat equivalent to St. Arsenius' Shrine, near Kalami, Corfu, for Lawrence Durrell (centenary of birth, 2012; born Jallandhar, British India, February 27, 1912).

More on St Arsenius' Shrine.

Places of predeliction for two outsiders (French Algeria, British India).


  1. Dear Corfu Bluesman,

    I am a graduate of Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilization,
    Jagiellonian Uniwersity in Poland. I am currently expanding my thesis:
    Albert Camus as the glorifier of the Mediterranean culture .

    I would be thankfully for information: in which the book/ work is a "Camus' Poem on the Mediterranean", who here is published?

    Yours sincerely,
    Joanna Roś

  2. Dear Joanna,

    I am in Greece now, and I don't have the books here. Can you send me another note on 24 August?
    I have the poem in a French book on Camus and the Mediterranean, and a Penguin paperback selection in English.

  3. Hi Joanna

    I just remembered to look up the references.

    The French original is in "Albert Camus, Pages Mediterraneennes", published by Didier, Paris 1968

    The English translation was published in "Youthful Writings" (Cahier II), Penguin Books, 1980 and Hamish Hamilton, 1970.