For my study, I decided to focus myattention on the famous 20th century philosopher, author and thinker,Albert Camus.
In particular, I decided to focus my attention to one of hisnovels, ‘The Fall’, which is a philosophical novel, one of only a few thatAlbert Camus wrote in his time. It was published first in 1956 and was in fact thelast novel of his published in his lifetime. It is translated into English andmany other languages across the world from the original French version, whichwas title ‘La Chute’. The story in the novel is set in Amsterdam (in theNetherlands) in a shady bar named MexicoCity situated somewhere deep within the red light district of the city. Thenovel follows the story of Jean Baptiste Clamence, a formerly wealthy Frenchdefence lawyer from Paris, who was once highly respected by his colleagues,family and friends, but has now “fallen” from grace. It is written in the form ofa confession from the point of view of Jean Baptiste Clamence, as he tells hisstory to a stranger he meets at the bar.
ref: Wikipedia, The Fall Jean Baptiste Clamence speaks the stranger inthe second person, so it is as if he is speaking to the reader. The storyexplores many themes and ideas, which include guilt of conscience, justice,freedom and truth, all of which appear in many of the other works and philosophiesof the author Albert Camus.The Parisian lawyer, Jean BaptisteClamence, is a complex and intricate character, but one who shares many qualitiesof the other characters in the works of the author Albert Camus. To try and understandthe character and his story, we must first try to understand the author. AlbertCamus was a French Algerian philosopher, author and journalist, who was aprominent figure in the early 20th century, and whose ideas andviews are still prominent and important in today’s society.
He was born shortlybefore the First World War on 7th November 1913 in Algeria, which atthe time was under French rule, and so naturally was implicated within the warthat was beginning to unfold at the time in Europe. Camus was born into a poorfamily that had struggled financially and socially even before he was born. Hismother was of Spanish descent, she worked as a house cleaner and was deaf outof her left ear. His father was of Alsatian descent and worked as anagricultural worker. When the First World War broke out in Europe in 1914, hisfather signed up to fight for France and left the family while Albert Camus wasstill only an infant. During the infamous Battle of the Marne, which was theculmination of the German advance into France and the Allied Forces, in whichFrench forces had 250000 casualties, Camus’ father was wounded in battleserving as a member of the Zouave infantry regiment. He later died of hiswounds on 11 October in a make shift hospital. ref: Biography.
com, Albert Camus This left Camus and his mother bothfinancially and emotionally affected, and meant they lived in extreme povertyfor much of his childhood. These experiences during the formative years of thenow famous thinker Albert Camus shaped many of his ideologies and philosophieson life.Despite many difficulties he facedin his early childhood, Albert Camus was a good student during his school timeand was eventually accepted into the University of Algiers in Algeria, where hestudies philosophy. During his time there, he played for a prominent universityteam, where the spirit and purpose of the team attracted him to join. However, his ambitions of playing footballfor a professional team were ended when he contracted tuberculosis, which was incurablefor him, in 1930; this caused him to be bedridden for long periods of time. Thisaffected Albert Camus greatly as he was often described as playing with courageand passion in the match reports that followed the games.
He eventually beganto look for other interests to fill his time