Camus’ Literature of Revolt: The Plague

Albert Camus (1913-1960) is known as a French existentialist, but he might be described more accurately as a French/Algerian chronicler of revolt. The Plague (1947), Camus’s first novel after The Stranger, describes a modern-day plague in the Algerian city of Oran. The characters’ reactions to the epidemic reveal the myriad ways in which people respond to injustice and tyranny. The novel was written during the German occupation of France and in the decade preceding Algeria’s war of independence from France.  We will also read at least one philosophical essay by Camus: the introduction to The Rebel.   MSC, Classroom #1; Limit: 30

Required Book: Albert Camus, The Plague (ed. Tony Judt), ISBN 9780141185132. 

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Bill VanderWolk taught French for forty years, the last twenty-nine years at Bowdoin College where he was the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Professor of Modern Languages. He has written extensively on 19th- and 20th-century French literature.

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