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Best known for such works as The Stranger, The Fall, and The Plague, Albert Camus is a world renowned writer. However, for many, little is known about Camus the man. Born into poverty to an illiterate mother and a father who died fighting for France during the Great War, Camus rose from nothing in French-controlled Algeria, a flash point for the postcolonial world. The First Man, published 34 years after his death in a car accident, was to be Camus' last word on himself and his relationship with Algeria, as the last years of the brutal Algerian civil war transpired. Camus examines himself via a fictive personage, Jacques Cormery, and Cormery's relationships with his family, his supposed “motherland” of France, and his actual native land of Algeria and her inhabitants. With no father to guide him and no family to teach him who he is politically, socially or economically, he discovers that instead of simply being a Frenchman, he is an Algerian francophone and that he must be “The First Man,” endeavoring to answer these questions about himself, for himself and by himself.

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May 5th, 12:00 AM May 5th, 12:00 AM

The Unknown Father and the Rediscovered Motherland of a Pied-Noir

Best known for such works as The Stranger, The Fall, and The Plague, Albert Camus is a world renowned writer. However, for many, little is known about Camus the man. Born into poverty to an illiterate mother and a father who died fighting for France during the Great War, Camus rose from nothing in French-controlled Algeria, a flash point for the postcolonial world. The First Man, published 34 years after his death in a car accident, was to be Camus' last word on himself and his relationship with Algeria, as the last years of the brutal Algerian civil war transpired. Camus examines himself via a fictive personage, Jacques Cormery, and Cormery's relationships with his family, his supposed “motherland” of France, and his actual native land of Algeria and her inhabitants. With no father to guide him and no family to teach him who he is politically, socially or economically, he discovers that instead of simply being a Frenchman, he is an Algerian francophone and that he must be “The First Man,” endeavoring to answer these questions about himself, for himself and by himself.

 

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