AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

'La Méditerranée' in Albert Camus's early writings

by Jingchao Jiang

Institution: University of Birmingham
Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music
Year: 2015
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures
Record ID: 1390828
Full text PDF: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/5761/


This thesis is centred on Camus’s early writings in relation to the development of the writer’s reflections on ‘La Méditerranée’. Its aim is to analyse how the concept of ‘La Méditerranée’ evolves in Camus’s early works, whether they are intellectual or creative. Analysis is conducted via three phases of Camus’s early writings: (1) from 1933 to August 1936, three preliminary key ideas regarding ‘La Méditerranée’ – ‘A Greco-Roman world’, ‘Le Midi et la mesure’, and ‘Embracing this-worldly life’ – are drawn; (2) following Nietzsche’s identification of two Ancient Greeces – pre-Socratic and post-Socratic, Camus systematically defines ‘La Méditerranée’ as a region full of the sunshine and the sea and as a culture which implies the sense of life, internationalism, a recognition of ‘la mesure et la limite’, instead of Christianity, nationalism and excessive military might based on the post-Socratics’ excessive rationality; (3) the literary text of L’Étranger is shown as closely connected with the key ideas concerning the Mediterranean elucidated in the previous two phases. This study challenges the tendency to view ‘La Méditerranée’ as an invariable concept in Camus’s works but focuses on the evolvement of the concept in the writer’s early writings. As such, it contributes to showing the complexity with which the concept is developed and provides the basis for new insights into Camus’s early writings concerning ‘La Méditerranée’.