Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

Published in Doctrine & Life, Vol. 63, No. 8, Oct., 2013.


THIS YEAR marks the centenary of the birth of one of the world's finest writers, the French-Algerian Albert Camus (1913-1960). When his father, a pied-noir farm labourer died fighting in the French army during the First World War, Camus' mother, Catherine, was forced to work as a cleaner to provide for her two sons. The younger one, Albert, demonstrated academic talent from an early age and managed to continue in education due to the interest taken in him by two inspirational teachers, Louis Germain and the well-known philosopher, Jean Grenier. He was also awarded scholarships, without which he could not have stayed in school or gone to university. While he suffered much hardship when growing up in Algiers, Camus always retained a love for his country of birth, particularly the revivifying waters of the Mediterranean, the sun-filled streets, port and beaches of Algiers which are all wistfully evoked in his writing. In fact, any proper analysis of his work cannot fail to take account of the significant role played by the writer's Algerian background.