CAMUS Albert (1913-1960)

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CAMUS Albert (1913-1960)


Study on The Plague after Thucydides and Lucretia, autograph manuscript [Mid 1940s]. 4 pages ½ in-4 in brown ink on paper.
An important autograph manuscript by Albert Camus with numerous autograph corrections and additions in which he discusses Thucydides and Lucretia, Greek and Roman observers of the effects of the plague. This version of the text has apparently never been published.
Was it written before the writing of The Plague, first published in 1947? In the edition of the author's Complete Works published by La Pléiade, another version of this text was published under the title: "Stephan's Commentary on Thucydides and Lucretia. Fragment of Chapter V of Part III". The manuscript of this version is held by the BNF.
The manuscript presented here contains some corrections which are not published in the edition of La Pléiade. Camus says: "Thucy specifies and Luc teaches. Thucy writes that men would die like beasts. Luc adds that their black throats distilled a blood sweat, that the rare, small, saffron-coloured and dirty sputum was torn from the throat with difficulty by a raucous cough, and that finally an uninterrupted hiccup killed the patient and brought him to exhaustion [...]".
Camus expresses his total empathy with the suffering and horror caused by the plague. He mocks Lucrezia's prayers to God: "[...] It is up to us to add prayer, God of the sheep, I adore you in hiccups and spittle... God of the sheep, here is the salt of my blood sweat. And the God of the sheep approves and grumbles, chews his cud and delights. I send death to them in flocks, accompanied by a foul odor, so that no one will think to touch these reserved victims. And as Luke says, the birds and wild beasts then depart from this prey".
Camus sides instead with Thucydides, the objective historian who notes that scientists can do nothing to stop the epidemic. Camus shares his despair and yet his quest for a cure.
This remarkable text sheds a very interesting
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