Adventures in Reading

Nonfiction: Resistance, Rebellion, and Death by Albert Camus

“I continue to believe that this world has no ultimate meaning. But I know that something in it has a meaning and that is man, because he is the only creature to insist on having one. This world has at least the truth of man, and our task is to provide its justification against fate itself.”

When I read Camus, I want to underline and quote nearly every word. He is a concise, graceful and charming author in the style of other minimalist authors, but he never lost the poetry in his words that makes the reader’s heart swell and fill the throat. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this, but I can’t help it: I love Albert Camus. My relationship with this author is perhaps the closest I’ve ever come to having a religious experience. If you haven’t read him go. Right now. Seriously.

Resistance, Rebellion, and Death is a collection of nonfiction essays, articles, and speeches from Camus. Many of these deal with perennial questions including warring ideologies, imperialism, capital punishment, and the artist’s creation. In so many ways he offers a unique voice as an existentialist, an atheist, an artist, a French-Algerian, a member of the French Resistance, and much more. As a reader, I was surprised that no part of this collection reads as dated in application to contemporary culture and discourse.

If you’re not much into Camus or philosophy this book may seem rather overwhelming, but at the very least do read, perhaps is most notable book, The Stranger.

Conclusion: Definite Keeper.



Wow ok…I’m going to have to read something by him now. Thanks!

Comment by Amanda

I haven’t read any non-fiction by Camus yet, evidently I should.

I love This novel The Plague though. Have you read it?

Comment by adevotedreader

Adevotedreader: I adore The Plague. I think it’s my favorite of Camus’ works.

Comment by bookchronicle

Your review (linked here) expresses my own mind precisely: When I read Camus I seem to be reading a much-improved self.

The essays in Resistance, Rebellion and Death — which he himself selected rather late in his rather short life — are the best primer for new readers, but, also, remain my favorite single volume in times of need, when spirit seems all but overwhelmed by the machine of the Scientific Civilization. At such times he keeps me going.

(He and Rickie Lee Jones … Odd couple …?)

Comment by William Ney

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