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Algerian Chronicles
 
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Algerian Chronicles [Kindle Edition]

Albert Camus , Alice Kaplan , Arthur Goldhammer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Review

Essentially, Algerian Chronicles surveys the making of a metaphysical rebel, Camus himself. In his world, like ours, riven by mindless extremism and terrorism, he sought moderation, toleration and humanity. He is being reread today, without post-colonial prejudice, as a means to engage our comparable metaphysical condition. 'The role of the intellectual is to seek by his own lights to make out the respective limits of force and justice in each camp, ' he contended in 1958. 'It is to explain the meaning of words in such a way as to sober minds and calm fanaticisms, even if this means working against the grain.' Algerian Chronicles reminds that Camus accepted that lonely, singular role with inspiring courage and commitment. --Phillip C. Naylor, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (05/03/2013)

[...] better placed than any of his french comrades on the French Left to appreciate the inadequacy of the opposition they drew between cruel colonists and a suffering Arab mass. Day after Day, he says, these simplifications prove, in a sort of reductio absurdum, that the Algeria the French and the Arabs are condemned either to live together or die together.Whether he was ultimately right is open to question: he certainly paid a high price for his nuanced view of the situation. --Michael Kerrigan, The Scotsman, 25/05/2013
<brAlgerian Chronicles is a collection of journalistic writings published in 1958, when the crisis in Algeria posed a persistent threat to the government of France. It was to be Camus's final book and appears in retrospect as a summing-up of his feelings about his birthplace...These remarkably mature dispatches, written when he was 25, show that Camus was anxious from the start about the political relationship between his native country and the mainland...The impetus behind the repeated pleas for constructive dialogue that occupy the later parts of Algerian Chronicles was personal as much as political...Algerian Chronicles, never before translated in its entirety, is a document worth having. James Campbell, Wall Street Journal, 03/05/2013

--Andrew Hussay, 1/05/2013

Arthur Goldhammer's brilliant translation of Actuelles III (the collection's original title) appears at a moment when Camus's writings have tragic resonance for events today in that part of the world […] [Camus] concludes his book 'is amongst other things a history of a failure'. But noble failures like the Algerian Chronicles are both timeless and timely. --Robert Zaretsky, Times Literary Supplement, 11/10/2013

The last time [Camus] had spoken out on Algeria had been in January 1956 on a visit to Algiers, when he had called for a civilian truce between French colonialists and the Arab-dominated National Liberation Front (FLN). For his trouble he received death threats from the colonialists and scornful rejection by the FLN. At the risk of being labeled a coward, Camus decided to keep his peace. This silence lasted until 1958 when he published Actuelles III, a selection of essays and articles outlining his position on Algeria. Some of these writings were translated into English for Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1960) but others, such as his early forays into journalism for the anti-colonialist newspaper Alger Républicain, appear for the first time in this new translation of the 1958 collection. Algerian Chronicles also includes two letters that Camus wrote to French president René Coty in 1957 beseeching him to pardon several captured FLN members. That Camus should have been working behind the scenes to save the separatists whose violence he so abhorred speaks volumes about this complex man. --Tobias Grey, Financial Times, 03/05/2013

"[...] authoritatively edited by Alice Kaplan [...] from meticulous reports on poverty and prejudice in 1930s Kabylia to the great speech in Algiers in 1956, when right-wing thugs shouted down his heartfelt call for a civilian truce, every page speaks of his honesty, his compassion, his empathy." --Boyd Tonkin, The Independent, 21 December 2013

The last time [Camus] had spoken out on Algeria had been in January 1956 on a visit to Algiers, when he had called for a civilian truce between French colonialists and the Arab-dominated National Liberation Front (FLN). For his trouble he received death threats from the colonialists and scornful rejection by the FLN. At the risk of being labeled a coward, Camus decided to keep his peace. This silence lasted until 1958 when he published Actuelles III, a selection of essays and articles outlining his position on Algeria. Some of these writings were translated into English for Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1960) but others, such as his early forays into journalism for the anti-colonialist newspaper Alger Républicain, appear for the first time in this new translation of the 1958 collection. Algerian Chronicles also includes two letters that Camus wrote to French president René Coty in 1957 beseeching him to pardon several captured FLN members. That Camus should have been working behind the scenes to save the separatists whose violence he so abhorred speaks volumes about this complex man. --Tobias Grey, Financial Times, 03/05/2013

Product Description

More than 50 years after independence, Algerian Chronicles, with its prescient analysis of the dead end of terrorism, appears here in English for the first time. Published in France in 1958—the year the war caused the collapse of the Fourth French Republic—it is one of Albert Camus’ most political works: an exploration of his commitment to Algeria.

About the Author

Albert Camus (1913-1960), Algerian-French novelist, essayist, and playwright, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Arthur Goldhammer received the French-American Translation Prize in 1990 for his translation of A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution. Alice Kaplan is John M. Musser Professor of French and chair of the Department of French at Yale University.
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