A Writer's Topography

Space and Place in the Life and Works of Albert Camus


A Writer’s Topography examines French-Algerian Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus’s intimate yet often unsettled relationship with natural and human landscapes. Much like the Greek hero Sisyphus about whom he wrote his famous philosophical essay, Camus sustained a deep awareness of and appreciation for what he termed le visage de ce monde—the face of this earth. This wide-ranging collection of essays by Camus scholars from around the world demonstrates to what extent topography is omnipresent in Camus’s life and works. Configurations and contemplations of landscape figure prominently in his fictional works on both a literal and figurative level—from the earliest writings of his youth to his final, unfinished novel, Le Premier Homme. Furthermore, as a core component of the way in which Camus perceived, conceived and expressed the human condition, topography constitutes an over-arching and particularly profound dimension of his personal, public and philosophical thought.

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Jason Herbeck is Professor of French at Boise State University (Idaho, USA). In addition to publications devoted to the literatures and histories of Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe, he has authored numerous articles and book chapters on Albert Camus. He is also President of the North American Section of the Société des Études Camusiennes.

Vincent Grégoire is « Nichols Professor of French » at Berry College (Georgia, USA). Author of L’Absence et le détail dans l’œuvre romanesque d’Albert Camus (2003) and of numerous articles on Camus, he publishes also in the field of Seventeenth-Century French Studies.

Jason HERBECK and Vincent GRÉGOIRE: Introduction
Part I. Camus and His Works: Openings and Closings
Agnès SPIQUEL-COURDILLE: Les lieux ouverts et le royaume
Raymond GAY-CROSIER: Exiled in a Spiritual Geography: Albert Camus’s Road to Values
Part II. Ontological Spaces
Vincent GRÉGOIRE : Réflexion sur le thème du plateau dans la vie et l’œuvre de Camus
Guy BASSET : Topographies suspendues
Jacquelyn LIBBY : Tipasa and le monde: Metonymic Displacement in “Noces à Tipasa”
Sophie BASTIEN : Formes et fonctions de la prison chez Camus
Part III. Literal Meeting Places of the Imaginary
Steven WINSPUR : Paysages et d’autres réseaux de vie chez Camus
John WALSH: The Cooper and the Painter: The Topography of the Atelier
in L’Exil et le Royaume
Lorenzo GIACHETTI: A Psychogeography of the Monstrous in Le Premier Homme
Part IV. Literary Meeting Places: Camus and His Contemporaries
Thierry DURAND : Blanchot, Camus: une approche préliminaire
Martine BENJAMIN : Le tombeau parental, ou « le temps d’un retour » dans Le Premier Homme d’Albert Camus, et dans Adieu ma mère, adieu mon cœur de Jules Roy
Ben STOLTZFUZ: Hemingway’s Influence on Camus: The Iceberg as Topography
Part V. In (the) Place of Writing: Literal and Literary Constructions
Jason HERBECK: Bridging Consciousness: A Topographical Reading of La Chute
Marie-Thérèse BLONDEAU : La Peste ou les métamorphoses d’Oran
Matthew MOYLE : Écrire le lieu qui s’inscrit: topographies toponymiques
dans La Peste et La Chute
John LAMBETH: The Figure of the Labyrinth in “Le Renégat” and “La Pierre qui pousse”
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