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Camus brooding in Lyon

Published May 20, 2022
Updated Oct 27, 2022

📍 🇫🇷 Camus brooding in Lyon

January 1943. France has been defeated by Nazi Germany; no real hope in sight still.

Sick with lungs, in and out of the countryside for cures, Albert Camus (1913-1960) reads Nietzsche, the Bible, Kafka. He writes in his diary while staying at the small room offered by René Leynaud (now at 6 rue René Leynaud): "here is the great problem our generation should resolve practically: can one be lonely and happy at the same time..."

Completely unknown, he is preparing a novel that would soon become world-famous: "La peste" - "The Plague". Wonderful (and prescient..) diary entry on the novel's future core message: "The inhabitants hope for something in the first phase of the disease; that letters would arrive, that the plague would cease, that absentees would slip into the city. It is only in the second phase that they stop hoping. But at this point they are happily atonic. They must die or betray..."

The shape of words to come.

____ Sources ____

>> Camus, "Carnets", Tome II de la Pléiade, 1943

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