In his classic existentialist novel Camus explores the predicament of the individual who is prepared to face the benign indifference of the universe courageously and alone. Meursault leads an apparently unremarkable bachelor life in Algiers until he commits an act of violence. His response to the incident challenges the fundamental values of society, a set of rules so binding that any person breaking them is condemned as an alien, an outsider. For Meursault it is an insult to his reason and a betrayal of his hopes; for Camus it is the absurdity of life.
'Camus was the conjunction of a man, an oeuvre and a destiny.'
Albert Camus (7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay "The Rebel" that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom. Although often cited as a proponent of existentialism, the philosophy with which Camus was associated during his own lifetime, he rejected this particular label. In an interview in 1945, Camus rejected any ideological associations: "No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked...
Camus was born in French Algeria to a Pied-Noir family. He studied at the University of Algiers, where he was goalkeeper for the university team (association football), until he contracted tuberculosis in 1930. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement after his split with Garry Davis's Citizens of the World movement, of which the surrealist André Breton was also a member. The formation of this group, according to Camus, was intended to "denounce two ideologies found in both the USSR and the USA" regarding their idolatry of technology.
Camus was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times".