Camus and Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus: Two Visions of the World through Existentialist and Absurdist Literature.

Sartre and Camus were shining intellectual emblems of an era which was looking for meaning after the atrocities of World War II. They were very close friends giving voice to the mood of the day. ‘We were,’ recalled the fellow great philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, ‘to provide the postwar era with its ideology.’ Existentialism was born.

To clarify this new notion, they staged new and unsettling plays, and wrote essays, short stories and novels about the absurdity of the world: one without purpose and without value. They explained that the only way to be alive in it is to project our own meaning and value onto it, in order to make sense of it. This meant that people are free and yet burdened by this freedom, since with freedom there is a simple, yet very challenging responsibility: acting authentically. Then came a deep intellectual and political fracture in 1951 after Camus published L’Homme Révolté (The Rebel). This became an insurmountable rift and they progressed their separate ways intellectually and politically.

In this course we will strive to understand the irreconcilable rift between Camus and Sartre through close readings of some of their major writing, discovering their particular vision of existentialism and of the concept of the Absurd.

Required texts:
• Jean-Paul Sartre, Huis clos, suivi de Les Mouches, Gallimard, Folio, 2000; ISBN : 9782070368075
• Jean- Paul Sartre, La Nausée, Gallimard, Folio, 2000; ISBN: 9782070368051
• Albert Camus, Le Royaume et l’Exil, Gallimard, Folio, 1972; ISBN : 9782070360789
• Albert Camus, Caligula, suivi de Le Malentendu, Gallimard, Folio, 1972; ISBN: 9782070360642
• Albert Camus, L'Etranger, Gallimard, 1971, ISBN: 9782070360024
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FREN 6715

All Sections in Summer 2021 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

Summer 2021 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

FREN6715A-L21 Lecture (Lagier)