Albert Camus the Algerian: Colonialism, Terrorism, Justice by David Carroll

By David Carroll

In those unique readings of Albert Camus' novels, brief tales, and political essays, David Carroll concentrates on Camus' conflicted courting along with his Algerian heritage and unearths very important severe insights into questions of justice, the results of colonial oppression, and the lethal cycle of terrorism and counterterrorism that characterised the Algerian battle and maintains to floor within the devastation of postcolonial wars at the present time.

During France's "dirty battle" in Algeria, Camus known as for an finish to the violence perpetrated opposed to civilians by way of either France and the Algerian nationwide Liberation entrance (FLN) and supported the production of a postcolonial, multicultural, and democratic Algeria. His place was once rejected by means of so much of his contemporaries at the Left and has, paradoxically, earned him the name of colonialist sympathizer in addition to the scorn of significant postcolonial critics.

Carroll rescues Camus' paintings from such feedback by means of emphasizing the Algerian dimensions of his literary and philosophical texts and by means of highlighting in his novels and brief tales his figuring out of either the injustice of colonialism and the tragic nature of Algeria's fight for independence. via refusing to simply accept that the sacrifice of blameless human lives can ever be justified, even within the pursuit of noble political pursuits, and by means of rejecting basic, ideological binaries (West vs. East, Christian vs. Muslim, "us" vs. "them," stable vs. evil), Camus' paintings bargains an alternative choice to the stark offerings that characterised his stricken instances and proceed to outline our personal.

"What they did not like, used to be the Algerian, in him," Camus wrote of his fictional double in The First Man. not just should still "the Algerian" in Camus be "liked," Carroll argues, however the Algerian dimensions of his literary and political texts represent a vital a part of their carrying on with curiosity. Carroll's examining additionally exhibits why Camus' serious viewpoint has a lot to give a contribution to modern debates stemming from the worldwide "war on terror."

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But then the absurd nature of colonial “justice” would not be exposed as dramatically as it is in the novel. For in The Stranger the most profound change in Meursault’s existence brought about by the murder is not really his loss of his freedom, to which he fairly quickly becomes accustomed. It is rather the loss of his birthright, which he must now prove in a court of law that he truly deserves. He must in court justify his very existence before a judge and jury and prove that he is equal to and of the same nature as those judging him.

The Algerian” in Camus 11 gerian dimension, is treated by Sartre as a breath of fresh air in the oppressive political and cultural climate of occupied, collaborationist Paris. Camus’ later writings will repeatedly confirm Sartre’s early insight that climate and geography are as much philosophical-political issues in his work as they are natural phenomena. Even when Camus leaves the philosophical issue of the absurd behind, it is in terms of Algeria as a geographical, philosophical, and political landscape that he will repeatedly pose the problems of oppression, resistance, freedom, and justice.

Indb 13 2/6/07 9:52:54 AM 14 “The Algerian” in Camus critics, considers Camus’ ambivalence on the Algerian War to be justified because it resulted from what he calls Camus’ “search for an evenhanded application of justice. . Intellectual responsibility consisted not in taking a position but refusing one where it did not exist” (121). Overall, however, these four critics differ so greatly in their analyses and conclusions that it seems they are not even talking about the same person or the same body of work.

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