Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Camus: Portrait of a Moralist”

Camus was a French philosopher, author and journalist who lived from 1913 to 1960. His search was for a meaning to life, which in many ways he found to be absurd. Thus, he is sometimes referred to as the father of absurdism.

The problem of defining Camus is he constantly would seemingly support two sides of a position in the same work or discussion.

Camus.jpgHe found life absurd, but said there were still reasons to live, still matters of value.

That seems to be the gravamen for this work. Rather than define him as an existentialist or absurdist, Bronner explores a good deal of his political and social work to find the core a very humane person who did find reasons to live.

He was a supporter of human rights, cooperation of individuals and nations, and an anti-Communist.

In 1944, he formed the French Committee for a European Federation. He was touting the European Union well ahead of his time.

Stephen Eric Bronner’s “Camus: Portrait of a Moralist” covers Camus’ life in a short, readable 155 pages. Some have said this book should not be a beginning read on Camus, but I found it otherwise.

There is plenty lefty to flesh out regarding Camus’ thoughts and beliefs, but this is a good beginning to help understand the man and at least some of his directions on the meaning of life.

We see him in his youth, his educational life, a working life as a journalist, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a family man who found marriage questionable as an institution.

Perhaps in this time of narcissism, we do not value the thinkers who ask the perhaps unanswerable questions about life, but a least they ask them.

We are introduced to one such man here, his thoughts and how they developed. We are left to ask ourselves how we feel about such matters. We are asked to think .

A book that makes you think-that has great value.

“If there were a party of those who aren’t sure they’re right, I’d belong to it.” - Camus, as quoted by Tony Judt

Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2017 season is his 11th with the club and 32nd covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March.


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