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Book Title: Dżuma|
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Reader ratings: 3.5
The author of the book: Albert Camus
Edition: PIW Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy
Date of issue: 2010
ISBN: No data
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 817 KB
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Ah, death; it's always there, isn't it? It is a terrible fate, doomed upon us all, that could take place at any time, in millions of different ways. The Jews who witnessed the holocaust are aware of this. The people of Haiti know this. The mother who lost her only child in a car accident is aware of this. Most individuals (and groups of individuals) spend their days fighting the fact of death, lying to themselves, using clever ways to avoid its ever-present reality. Looking death in its cold, indiscriminating eye, is perhaps the most difficult thing one can do. But the result from doing so -- when taken with time -- is a clear-eyed vision of the world we live in; the result of which is an inner-strength of which few know. But for those that have candidly looked into the eye of death -- for those that keep its hard reality within their awareness -- there is a wisdom and depth that emanates.
The people of Camus' Oran -- formerly thoughtless, happy citizens that were, like many of us now, going about their merry ways not knowing how lucky they truly were -- become stricken by the plague. It is a rotten disease -- full of physical suffering, spreading rapidly, unceasingly -- that causes the town's citizens to be quarantined within the town. No getting out. There they must go on, trying to cope and survive -- some while kept away from their loved ones who are outside Oran's walls -- all, while surrounded by the constant death of their peers.
The Plague is much about death, but it’s also about how we choose to live. Do we live like the people of Oran, going through each day without truly thinking, taking things for granted, going through the motions in an ignorant, opiated stupor? Or do we look death -- and by extension, life -- in the eye, taking nothing for granted, noticing and appreciating our complexities and gifts, endeavoring for truth, and striving to be good people? No matter how painful and difficult, do we face reality with courage? Do we overcome? Are we striving to be true heroes to others and to ourselves?
There are fates worse than death. Like living life half-heartedly, without truth, without passion. Without conviction. Without sacrifice. And without love.
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Read information about the authorAlbert Camus (1913-1960) was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in philosophy (only chance prevented him from pursuing a university career in that field), he came to France at the age of twenty-five. The man and the times met: Camus joined the resistance movement during the occupation and after the liberation was a columnist for the newspaper Combat. But his journalistic activities had been chiefly a response to the demands of the time; in 1947 Camus retired from political journalism and, besides writing his fiction and essays, was very active in the theatre as producer and playwright (e.g., Caligula, 1944). He also adapted plays by Calderon, Lope de Vega, Dino Buzzati, and Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun. His love for the theatre may be traced back to his membership in L'Equipe, an Algerian theatre group, whose "collective creation" Révolte dans les Asturies (1934) was banned for political reasons.
The essay Le Mythe de Sisyphe (The Myth of Sisyphus), 1942, expounds Camus's notion of the absurd and of its acceptance with "the total absence of hope, which has nothing to do with despair, a continual refusal, which must not be confused with renouncement - and a conscious dissatisfaction". Meursault, central character of L'Étranger (The Stranger), 1942, illustrates much of this essay: man as the nauseated victim of the absurd orthodoxy of habit, later - when the young killer faces execution - tempted by despair, hope, and salvation. Dr. Rieux of La Peste (The Plague), 1947, who tirelessly attends the plague-stricken citizens of Oran, enacts the revolt against a world of the absurd and of injustice, and confirms Camus's words: "We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men, we still want to serve them". Other well-known works of Camus are La Chute (The Fall), 1956, and L'Exil et le royaume (Exile and the Kingdom), 1957. His austere search for moral order found its aesthetic correlative in the classicism of his art. He was a stylist of great purity and intense concentration and rationality.
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