Saturday, 28 December 2013

Albert Camus: The Artist


Each time a writer writes he puts a little of his soul into his work. As his work grows, a spectator is allowed a peek inside his mind. To an onlooker, at first it might seem that he is caught up in a kaleidoscope of the myriad shades of glass as seen in white light. It is bedazzling. So, the onlooker must be careful to shield his eyes or better yet close them for his own good. These shards are nothing but pieces of the artist’s soul. He embeds each piece in his work. In some he puts a little of his spirit, in some others he dips these shards into hues of other people’s reality and personality and thus gives us a reflection of his own soul and inadvertently a picture of the life and time of which he is an inextricable part. He stands at the center witnessing life with both its point and pointlessness or meaning and meaninglessness.


Courtesy: Ehnemark, Jan via Wikimedia Commons

A beautiful line comes to my mind as I think of this. 

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." 
-Albert Camus

I don’t think that I would be able to go on here without mentioning Camus and his contribution to literature and philosophy.

Born into a poverty stricken Pied Noir family with a cat named Cigarette, the professional quirk of writing while standing and Jean-Paul Sartre as a friend turned lifelong rival, Albert Camus was the second youngest person and the first African born writer to be honoured with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 for his work "Reflexions sur la Guillotine" (Reflections on the Guillotine) against Capital Punishment.

There is no teacher like ‘Life’ because she lives with you from the moment of your inception until your last dying breath. “You cannot create experience, you must undergo it”, he said once and so Life taught him much. It was a different world then where people led strange lives during a difficult war time.  And so, Camus wrote much about human frailties, exposed the internal working of man’s psyche and became a firm proponent of the concept of ‘Absurdism’ which finds speech in his famous essay “The Myth of Sisyphus’.
Naked language that needed no support of extravagant words and thoughts stripped of all superfluity, Albert Camus was a writer whose works till date are an exposè of the veritable ramblings and musings of a common man.

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