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Albert Camus: Inside the Outsider

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 03 November 2013

A century after the birth of literature's most enigmatic Outsider, Albert Camus aficionado Professor Andrew Hussey celebrates the controversial life and work of the globally feted French writer and philosopher, and searches out the private man behind the handsome Bogart lookalike public face.

Andrew Hussey interviews confidants and colleagues from Camus' Parisian days, as well as his daughter at the Provencal family home. He uncovers a web of contradictions.

From the dusty backstreets of Algiers to the smoky Existentialist cafes of the Left Bank in wartime Paris; from the Nobel ceremony in Stockholm to the twisted car wreckage near Sens, Camus' story grips and dazzles just as do the novels we remember him for today: The Outsider, The Plague and The Fall.

A man of principle intent on resisting the Nazis and liberating occupied Paris, yet unable to back the cause of Algerian independence and branded a reactionary; the life and soul of any party, prone to depression and craving solitude. A family man whose high profile affairs drove his wife to attempt suicide.

And that fatal car crash...That may have been no accident...Enter the KGB...

Incorporating rare archive of Camus reading from his novels and acclaimed writers musing on their startling narrative power, the programme also confronts the darker side of Camus' reputation.
Probing Algerian and European thinkers on the vilification of Camus as a colonialist, Hussey unearths a virtual smear campaign that kept literary rival Jean Paul Sartre's star in the ascendant and Camus' low on the horizon. But now it is Camus' works that have stood the test of time to thrill and inspire a new 21st century generation of readers, and his philosophy of tolerance and moderation that speaks to today's ever more troubled age.

Producer Karen Holden

First broadcast in November 2013.

Music Played

1 item
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • BBC Producer Karen Holden, Camus' daughter Catherine and Presenter Professor Andrew Hussey at Camus' home in Provence

    BBC Producer Karen Holden, Camus' daughter Catherine and Presenter Professor Andrew Hussey at Camus' home in Provence
  • Presenter Professor Hussey at Camus' grave in Lourmarin, France

    Presenter Professor Hussey at Camus' grave in Lourmarin, France
  • The Camus Archives in Aix-en-Provence

    The Camu Archives in Aix-en-Provence
  • Olivier Todd and Presenter Professor Hussey

    Olivier Todd and Presenter Professor Hussey
  • Publications used to research Inside the Outsider

    Albert Camus: A Life by Oliver Todd (Published by Carroll and Graf)

    The Outsider by Albert Camus. Translated by Sandra Smith (Published by Penguin)

    L'Exil et le Royaume (Exile and the Kingdom)- Albert Camus. Edited by David Walker

    The Boxer and The Goal Keeper: Sartre versus Camus by Andy Martin (Published by Simon and Schuster)

    Camus deve Morire- Camus Must Die by Giovanni Catelli (Published by Nutrimenti in October)

    Camus, A Romance by Elizabeth Hawes (Published by Grove Press)



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