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From The Vault

This stun­ning 1961 pro­file was pro­duced by KPFA pro­duc­er Richard Vernier the year after Camus’ untime­ly death in 1960. Vernier gath­ered the best experts avail­able to help under­stand this amaz­ing author, play­wright, jour­nal­ist and philosopher.


- Hard­ing Lemay — Pul­blic­i­ty Direc­tor of Camus’ Amer­i­can pub­lish­er Alfred A. Knopf

- Ger­maine Bree — French Lit­er­a­ture Pro­fes­sor at New York University

- Jean Renoir — French Film maker

- Ken­neth Rexroth — Amer­i­can poet

In addi­tion to this amaz­ing memo­r­i­al pro­gram, we have a cur­rent inter­view with Ray­mond Gay-Crosier Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus of French at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Flori­da who sum­ma­rizes Camus’ impact on his con­tem­po­raries and on the stu­dent move­ments of the 60’s and the Arab Spring of 2010.

The pro­gram ends with the read­ing of Albert Camus’ Nobel Prize accep­tance address.

Albert Camus was born in Alge­ria in 1913. His Father died the fol­low­ing year in World War II and he was raised by his moth­er in one of the poor­est sec­tions of Algiers. With a propen­si­ty for both aca­d­e­mics and foot­ball, Camus excelled at both but was forced to quit foot­ball when he con­tract­ed tuber­cu­lo­sis at the age of 17 in 1930. He then turned his atten­tion to writ­ing, pub­lish­ing his first col­lec­tion of essays in 1936.

In this pro­gram we’ll hear celebri­ty read­ings of Camus’ mate­r­i­al from fans such as Ken­neth Rexroth, Jean Renoir and oth­ers. The span of Camus mate­r­i­al runs from his plays includ­ing Caligu­la from 1938, his sec­ond col­lec­tion of essays Nup­tuals pub­lished in 1939 to many of his clas­sic writ­ings The Stranger, The Plague and The Fall.

There are excerpts from inter­views with Albert Camus trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish which give us a first hand glimpse of a cre­ative force who was often mis­char­ac­ter­ized as being part of the Sartre’s Exis­ten­tial Move­ment. In the end, Camus reveals his sim­ple moti­va­tions of truth and free­dom, in his case a free­dom that can only be expe­ri­enced grow­ing up in abject pover­ty free from Mid­dle Class and Upper Class constraints.