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Albert Camus

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Smoking is bad for you!
Thinking hardly
or hardly thinking?

Icon philosophy.svg
Major trains of thought
The good, the bad,
and the brain fart
Come to think of it

Albert Camus (November 7, 1913 – January 4, 1960) was an Algerian-French author and philosopher. He is often associated with existentialism, but Camus preferred to be known as a man and a thinker, rather than as a member of a school or ideology. He preferred persons over ideas. Camus was the second youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature (after Rudyard Kipling) when he received the award in 1957. He is also the shortest-lived of any literature laureate to date, having died in a car crash only two years after receiving the award.

Personal life[edit]

Camus was born in Algeria (while it was a French colony) and lived there for much of his life. He was a goalkeeper in his youth, but had to stop after he contracted tuberculosis. After college, he moved to France and started writing essays and novels.


Camus, rejecting the label of existentialism, propagated the philosophy of absurdism. His philosophy states that the meaning of life is either non-existent or unknowable. As such, the only way to feel fulfilled is to accept the absurdity of the universe, and continue living despite it.

His peculiar brand of existentialist thought put him at opposition with the other famous thinkers of the school of thought, and scholars disagree as to whether he was genuinely existentialist or merely a free-choice-based anarchist.


Camus died in an automobile accident. How absurd. This made him the youngest dead recipient of the Nobel prize for literature.



  • The Stranger (L'Étranger, sometimes translated as The Outsider) (1942)
  • The Plague (La Peste) (1947)
  • The Fall (La Chute) (1956)
  • A Happy Death (La Mort heureuse) (written 1936-1938, published posthumously 1971)
  • The First Man (Le premier homme) (incomplete, published posthumously 1995)

Short stories[edit]

  • Exile and the Kingdom (L'exil et le royaume) (a collection of long and short stories) (1957)


  • Betwixt and Between (L'envers et l'endroit, also translated as The Wrong Side and the Right Side) (Collection, 1937)
  • The Myth of Sisyphus (Le Mythe de Sisyphe) (1942)
  • Neither Victim Nor Executioner (Combat) (1946)
  • The Rebel (L'Homme révolté) (1951)
  • Reflections on the Guillotine (Réfléxions sur la guillotine) (Extended essay, 1957)
  • Notebooks 1935-1942 (Carnets, mai 1935 — fevrier 1942) (1962)
  • Notebooks 1943-1951 (1965)
  • Nuptials (Noces)


  • Caligula (performed 1945, written 1938)
  • The Misunderstanding (Le Malentendu) (1944)
  • State of Siege (L'État de siège) (1948)
  • The Just Assassins (Les Justes) (1949)
  • The Possessed (Les Possédés, adapted from Dostoyevsky's novel by the same name) (1959)


  • Resistance, Rebellion, and Death (1961) - a collection of essays selected by the author.
  • Lyrical and Critical Essays (1970)
  • Youthful Writings (1976)
  • Between Hell and Reason: Essays from the Resistance Newspaper "Combat", 1944-1947 (1991)
  • Camus at "Combat": Writing 1944-1947 (2005)