Surfing with Camus, by Chris Morgan
…the desperate man has no native land. I knew that the sea existed, and that is why I lived in the midst of this mortal time.
There’s no evidence that Albert Camus ever rode a wave. There’s no evidence he didn’t either. What we do know—and what makes the question so tantalizing—is that Camus’s extensive writings are deeply rooted in attachment to the sunlit sea that formed the backdrop to his childhood on the Mediterranean coast of Africa. Moreover, much of Camus’s writing positively ripples with a surfer’s sensibility—not just a congenital attachment to watery origins but a sensuous physicality, a ravenous desire for simplicity and harmony, a penchant for revolt, and a yearning to seize hold of the freedom and wisdom that emerge from oneness with the sea. In 2008 Richard Eder wrote of Camus in The New York Times: ‘He was French Algerian, of course, but the point isn’t his provenance but his temperament. He was Mediterranean, a creature of sun and water, fierceness and the senses’.1
Albert Camus (1913–60) grew up in the Belcourt neighborhood of Algiers on the southwestern coast of the Mediterranean. As a ‘closed sea’ measuring a little over 2,000 miles east to west and 1,000 miles north to south, at first glance the Mediterranean appears to lack the necessary fetch to generate either large or consistent surf. While it’s true that mistral winds from the north can create occasional small surf in the Mediterranean, it’s also true that summers are notoriously flat. And although winter can steer ocean storms inland from the eastern Atlantic resulting in larger swell, this is an infrequent phenomenon at best. It’s unlikely that Mediterranean breaks have ever enjoyed a position near the top of any ‘bucket list’ of surf destinations. Until now that is.2
A closer topographical inspection of the Mediterranean reveals a mostly rocky coast, notched like New England with countless inlets, coves, and bays—a potential nirvana of point break setups. Other factors notwithstanding, these physical features beg the question whether the young Camus might have stood watching from some rocky outcropping as empty lefts unloaded along the sandy beach in the searing light he loved. Or whether he might have been among the waves themselves, bodysurfing, bellyboarding, or merely brown and bobbing in the summer foam.
Recent reports confirm that such speculation is not entirely unfounded. To the surprise of most of the surfing world, in December 2009 Surfersvillage.com reported the discovery of lined up lefts and big, hollow rights breaking along the Algerian coast. That discovery came in the sixth phase of a Mediterranean surf research campaign that began in 2005 when an international team of surfers under the auspices of SurfEXPLORE decided to set the record straight with first-hand reporting from locations all over the Mediterranean. They brought home hard evidence in the form of photographs and video, perhaps the best example of which is the brief but stunning Rainbows: Surfing in Algeria film shot by John Callahan and Emiliano Mazzoni.
Footage of the SurfEXPLORE team feasting on powerful, overhead lefts appears to validate their headline declaration that ‘Algeria just qualified for the World Cup…of the new surf destinations!’3 Evidently this was not merely a one-off score. A French-language blog devoted to the topic of Algerian surfing introduces itself with the salutation, ‘we have opened this new website in response to the wave of articles being written about surfing in Algeria.’4 Kurungabaa itself contributed to that wave, confirming news of rideable surf on the North African coast in a March 2010 on-line report titled “Surfing in Algeria or Getting Loose with Burroughs.”5 That eminently surfable waves break on the Algerian coast seems hardly disputable anymore. That Camus witnessed or even rode such waves suddenly appears to be more than merely a tantalizing supposition.
Such speculation extends beyond Camus as an undernourished grommet at play on the beaches of Algiers. Given Camus’s magnetic attraction to the sea and his extensive travels as an adult, additional possibilities must be considered. For example we know that Camus was deeply enamored of Tipasa, the Mediterranean village situated some forty-two miles west of Algiers. We know he visited the bustling Algerian port city of Oran. We know that he travelled to Italy and extensively in France. We know that in 1946 he crossed the Atlantic on a lecture tour of the eastern United States, visiting New York, Boston, Cape Cod, and that two years later he lectured again in South America. So when one considers Camus surfing one must imagine him in places like Hossegor and the Cote Basque, considering offshore setups in western Sardinia, or frothing over the New World lineups of Nauset Beach, Fire Island, Montauk. The mind reels with possibilities.
Of course it’s entirely possible that, given the sheer busyness of Camus’ short life, other interests intervened: an early passion for football, the onset of tuberculosis at age seventeen, academic brilliance, philosophy and writing, a career as a journalist, deepening involvement in social movements and issues of justice, an abiding love of women, World War II, underground resistance to Nazi-occupied France, eventually a family and further health concerns and those lecture tours abroad, the crown of a Nobel Prize in 1957. There are other stumbling blocks too. Not least among these is the historical fact that it was only one year prior to Camus’s acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 1957 that Dorian Paskowitz famously planted the first seeds of a surfing tradition in Mediterranean Israel. This would have been about the same time that traveling screenwriter Peter Viertel introduced standup surfing to bellyboarders and bodysurfers in the south of France.6 Camus would have been forty-two years old. Four years later he was dead, the magnificent trajectory of his remarkable life cut short by a mysterious auto accident in which no other car was involved.
Still, confronted by arguments why Camus may not have surfed, in the end I hold fast to what I consider the well-founded hypothesis that, had the opportunity presented itself, Camus would have taken to surfing like the Dora of Algiers, committing himself to the practice of wave-riding with the same intensity he brought to each of the other passions of his short life. If I’m right in this then perhaps it’s better if Camus did in fact miss surfing altogether—better for the world that is. Because had Camus pursued surfing with the single-minded purpose he was naturally predisposed to then it’s more than likely he would never have been known to us as one of the most original and potent voices of the twentieth century. What is clear—and just cause for this celebration of Camus—is that, with greater precision and power than any writer before or since, Camus succeeds in articulating what wave riders all over the world and throughout history have sought to express. It’s not just Camus’s concise and searing eloquence that warrant attention here. Camus’s emphasis throughout is on a relationship to the sea as omphalos, as the center of what it means to live a meaningful human life. Perhaps it’s that conviction more than anything that gives us reason to pause and consider, and a certain deep gratitude, and a kind of hope, whether Camus ever stood on a wave or not.
A long time ago, I once lived a whole week luxuriating in all the goods of this world: we slept without a roof, on a beach, I lived on fruit, and spent half my days alone in the water.
–Preface to ‘The Wrong Side and the Right Side’
If Camus’s ocean affinity is mostly to be inferred from a reading of the books that made him famous as an intellectual—books like The Stranger (1946), The Plague (1948), The Rebel (1954), The Myth of Sisyphus (1955), and The Fall (1957)—the underlying depth and power of that affinity is laid bare in the extensive collection of essays he wrote simultaneous to these major works but which remained in the background as it were. It is in these more personal, lyrical reflections that Camus returns to the sea with unabashed emotional eloquence—returns to what he calls the ‘miracle wrought by the Mediterranean.’7 For example, in ‘The New Mediterranean Culture,’ Camus recounts Xenophon’s description of Greek soldiers returning from war in Asia, focusing on how, as the Greeks ‘were coming back to their own country, dying of hunger and thirst, cast into despair by so many failures and humiliations, they reached the top of a mountain from which they could see the sea. Then they began to dance, forgetting their weariness and their disgust at the spectacle of their lives.’8 Like Camus, the Greek soldiers in this passage view the sea itself as their home. Equally important, the mere sight of that sea effectively cleanses them of their struggle and tarnish in the world. This is the ‘miracle wrought by the Mediterranean,’ the cleansing Camus sought time and again in his own life, making his exhausted returns from the intellectual battles of the European continent to replenish himself in the waters of his childhood.
So it is first and foremost from the essays that one understands Camus’s transcendental relationship to nature and his specific root in the sea. Nor does he equivocate or intellectualize. In the 1953 essay ‘The Sea Close By’ Camus writes, ‘I grew up with the sea and poverty for me was sumptuous; then I lost the sea and found all luxuries gray and poverty unbearable.’9 In the same essay Camus writes of the waves themselves: ‘I wake up at night, and, still half asleep, think I hear the sound of waves, the breathing of waters.’10 And yet again, recounting a voyage at sea:
the waves come from the invisible East, patiently, one by one; they reach us, and then, patiently, set off again for the unknown West, one by one […] the sea passes and remains. This is how one ought to love, faithful and fleeting. I wed the sea.11
If such expressions are not enough to convince us of Camus’s irrevocable involvement with and commitment to the sea, the essay culminates in associations that most surfers will recognize as their own in which Camus refers to the sea as ‘my religion,’ a force that ‘frees us and holds us upright’. ‘Each breaker brings its promise,’ Camus declares.12
Not surprisingly, this essential relationship to the sea grows out of a wider relation to the whole of the natural world. As sophisticated as his writings on philosophy, literature, and criticism can get, Camus’s original relation to nature resides both simply and comfortably at the foundation of his identity. In his essay ‘The Desert’ Camus makes this abundantly clear, declaring unequivocally: ‘What we must talk of here is man’s entry into the celebration of beauty and the earth.’13 For Camus that entry requires the nakedness of the ‘the young men of the Padovani beach in Algiers who spend the whole year in the sun.’14 He writes of these Algerian beachboys that ‘if they strip themselves bare, it is for a greater life’ since ‘being naked always carries a sense of physical liberty and of the harmony between hand and flowers—the loving understanding between the earth and a man delivered from the human.’15 Regarding such nakedness as a first step toward forgotten union with the sun and sea Camus declares with passionate unrestraint, ‘I would be a convert if this were not already my religion.’16 In ‘The Desert’ Camus willingly models the surrender to the earth he extols, acknowledging a ‘secret brotherhood linking me to the world,’ and declaring that in the ‘sky mingled with tears and sunlight, I learned to consent to the earth and be consumed in the dark flame of its celebrations.’17
If ‘The Desert’ initiates us into Camus’s transcendental relation to the earth, the essay ‘Nuptials at Tipasa’ carries us deeper into the heart of his immolations and celebrations. In describing Tipasa, a coastal village some forty-two miles west of Algiers, Camus acknowledges: ‘Here, I leave order and moderation to others. The great free love of nature and the sea absorbs me completely.’18 The abandon and the urgency one senses in this essay points to a desire in Camus not merely to live amidst the natural world but to become an essential element in its makeup. Camus writes that
even here, I know that I shall never come close enough to the world. I must be naked and dive into the sea, still scented with the perfumes of the earth, wash them off in the sea, and consummate with my flesh the embrace for which sun and sea, lips to lips have so long been sighing.19
What Camus seeks is not a light entanglement but an absolute integration into the substance and otherness of the estranged earth as rightful home. His seeking is at once psychological, emotional, and sexual: ‘To clasp a woman’s body is also to hold in one’s arms this strange joy that descends from sky to sea.’20 Indeed, Camus’s title, ‘Nuptials at Tipasa,’ makes it clear enough that the union he seeks is a specifically erotic relation to what he refers to elsewhere as ‘the whole radiance of the world’:21
…the waves’ endless crashing against the shore came toward me through a space dancing with golden pollen. Sea, landscape, silence, scents of this earth, I would drink my fill of a scent-laden life, sinking my teeth into the world’s fruit, golden already, overwhelmed by the feeling of its strong, sweet juice flowing on my lips.22
It’s important to realize of course that while surfers may in fact share these sentiments with Camus our very specific involvement with the ocean—our particular meditation as it were—is predicated on a specific physical activity. This is the source of that essential trope knows as the quest—a perpetual seeking after a certain, defining activity. Based on even a random survey of surfing literature from the last fifty years one can argue that this quest has been as sacred in itself as the actual practice of riding the wave. To this too Camus lends eloquence. For example in ‘Summer in Algiers’ Camus writes of a need to ‘rediscover that country of the soul where one’s kinship with the world can be felt, where the throbbing of one’s blood mingles with the violent pulsations of the afternoon sun.’23 This is perhaps the best single articulation of that particular flow-state that, for surfers, is the sole object and Holy Grail of the quest. Camus reiterates the importance of this defining experience more than once. ‘What is happiness,’ he writes in ‘The Desert,’ except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?’24 In ‘The Minotaur, or Stopping in Oran’ Camus merely rephrases the same question: ‘Where can the necessary solitude be found, the long breathing space in which the mind gathers its strength and takes stock of its courage?’25 These questions and the urgency behind them are iterations foundational to the surfing life, ponderings and data points according to which whole lives of exploration and discovery have been calibrated.
It’s important to note that Camus is suggesting something much more significant than leisure as a means to pursuing a cheap buzz—a notional decadence that attached itself to surfing and surf culture in its early history in the United States. In his revolt against established capitalist norms that include the acquisition of material wealth as one of the higher aims of existence Camus is not advocating dropping out so much as a certain kind of dropping in on the essence and object of being itself. He’s also acutely aware of the possibility of failure. For example, he writes in his essay ‘The Wrong Side and the Right Side:’ ‘They say I’m active. But being active is still wasting one’s time, if in doing one loses oneself.’26 What Camus sees in his quest for the sea is pursuit of an organic involvement in the natural world that harbors the real possibility of enlightenment and grace, not so much the potential for any achievement of being perhaps, but the means to a spiritual expression that is simultaneously a discovery of authenticity and purpose. ‘When am I truer than when I am the world?’ he asks, and the question is clearly rhetorical.27
It is within this framework then that Camus sets out on a journey to the sea that is at once both physical and metaphysical. He is unapologetic in his departure, writing in ‘Prometheus in the Underworld:’ ‘At that time, even a young man without money could entertain the extravagant notion of crossing the sea in quest of sunlight.’28 One is reminded here of the first migrations of twentieth century surfers to Hawaii and later Indonesia. Like those early pioneers Camus sets his sights on a destination that, while uncertain in its potentially dangerous details, must be pursued with an unfaltering commitment. That single-mindedness resonates in Camus’s declaration that ‘one whiff of salt [is] enough to show us that everything still lies before us. We need to invent fire once more, to settle down once again to the job of appeasing the body’s hunger.’29 It is Camus’s elemental physicality that captivates here, not a subtle philosophical dialectic but insistence on a more basic or even feral existence as the method of spiritual evolution.
Nor does Camus get lost in the process by accepting the search as a poor stand-in for final destinations. If fact, in ‘A Short Guide to Towns Without a Past,’ Camus offers overt directions to the road-worn traveler dragging his dusty quiver across an alien land:
If the traveler arrives in summer, the first thing to do, obviously, is to go down to the beaches surrounding the towns. He will see the same young people, more dazzling because less clothed. The sun gives them the somnolent eyes of great beasts. In this respect, the beaches of Oran are the finest, for both nature and women are wilder there.30
Note Camus’s insistence to the traveler that getting down to the beach is ‘obviously’ the first order of business. This is the voice of the friendly stranger one hopes to meet on the side of the road in Oran, Baja, Indo, or any other remote location in which one finds oneself a foreigner. All the more so if the encounter leads to a sand bottom point break or a hidden reef, a peeling left, winds offshore, three people out. As if he has stumbled on just such a setup, Camus exclaims in ‘The Desert:’ ‘These twin truths of the body and of the moment, at the spectacle of beauty—how can we not cling to them as to the only happiness we can expect, one that will enchant us but at the same time perish.’31 It’s hard not to imagine that Camus is here describing the momentary spectacle of a man suddenly standing upright on an incoming wave, drawing a high line just ahead of the curl, ducking the chandelier, fading into the tube. One pictures Camus standing on the shore alone, looking out at those three surfers taking turns in the chest high swell, then waxing up, paddling out.
Such an image becomes even more difficult to relinquish in light of statements that positively resonate with the sated gratitude and sweet fatigue of post-surf stoke—descriptions redolent of sea salt, sunburn, noodled arms, and the vivid, slow-motion replay of late drops, bottom-turns, cover-ups, impossible backhand tubes. In what other state might Camus have written that ‘everything here leaves me intact, I surrender nothing of myself, and don no mask: learning patiently and arduously how to live is enough for me.’32 This is the golden epiphany that Camus shares with surfers, a sense of consolidation of identity, of naked authenticity, an experience of pure being tied inextricably to a life of striving in the sea. However transitory, the sense here is that the quest is complete. ‘Our faces damp with sweat, but our bodies cool in light clothing, we would flaunt the happy weariness of a day of nuptials with the world.’33 Even in translation the sense of physical and spiritual arrival remains palpable in these lines. Camus describes post-surf glow with neither the fumbling nor the hyperbole that characterize most attempts to put the particular feeling into words. In the end it’s true that such experiences effectively defy domestication into mere language. And yet Camus comes closer than any to an utterance that accurately translates the magic of that transformative state: ‘Leaving the tumult of scents and sunlight, in the cool evening air, the mind would grow calm and the body relaxed, savoring the inner silence born of satisfied love.’34
In the final stage from angst and search to arrival, experience, and gratitude Camus pauses to reflect on this particular orientation to existence as something he shares in common with a wider community. Listen for a moment to Camus the consummate individualist and absurdist, the obstinate seeker, speaking for himself alone, yet opening his arms finally to a community and a meaning he belongs to after all:
No, it was neither I nor the world that counted, but solely the harmony and silence that gave birth to the love between us. A love I was not foolish enough to claim for myself alone, proudly aware that I shared it with a whole race born in the sun and sea, alive and spirited, drawing greatness from its simplicity, and upright on the beaches, smiling in complicity at the brilliance of its skies.35
Although much has been written about ferocious competition, overcrowded lineups, and rampant localism in the surfing community, my own predominating experience has been one similar to what Camus here describes—community. If it’s true that most surfers enter the ocean as solitary individuals, it’s also true that, whether they know it or not, most surfers emerge from each session as members of a confederation who pursue, embrace, and celebrate similar physical and spiritual values. Camus holds to the belief that those strong lines of connection, like the sea itself, will in the end defeat all meaningless animosity and division by standing for something greater. This paradoxical celebration of uncompromised individuality coexisting within a framework of elective community as a tension central to the surfing nation is, once again, something that Camus articulates with characteristically deft precision:
…I like it best there in the evening when the shops and offices pour into the still, dim streets a chattering crowd that runs right up to the boulevards facing the sea and starts to grow silent there, as night falls and the lights from the sky, from the lighthouses in the bay, and from the streetlamps merge together little by little into a single flickering glow. A whole people stands mediating on the seashore then, a thousand solitudes springing up from the crowd. Then the vast African nights begin…36
I have always felt I lived on the high seas, threatened, at the heart of a royal happiness.
–‘The Sea Close By’
It’s important to note that Camus’s exaltations of a more primitive existence in the sea are at times tempered by a darker voice of prophetic warning. For example he opens his 1948 essay ‘Helen’s Exile’ with a description of bucolic plentitude recognizable to any surfer who has paused on the beach following a glass-off session at dusk: ‘There are evenings,’ Camus writes, ‘at the foot of mountains by the sea, when night falls on the perfect curve of a little bay and an anguished fullness rises from the silent waters.’37 The description is instantly recognizable to the surfer returning to shore at dusk, looking up a moment to take in the scene that has involved him so deeply, feeling an ache that is at once a satisfaction, a gratitude, and a shadowy foreboding—a yearning to stop time, to shelter a little longer in the mythical power of the land and sea, a desire to remain and to preserve. Camus, who witnessed first-hand not only the all-encompassing destruction wreaked by a world war but the inexorable coming of unbridled industrialization, laissez faire capitalism, and obsessive consumerism, repeatedly sounds this dusky note of apocalyptic fear in ‘Helen’s Exile’:
We have exiled beauty; the Greeks took arms for it. […] Our reason has swept everything away. Alone at last, we build our empire upon a desert. […] We turn our back on nature, we are ashamed of beauty. Our miserable tragedies have the smell of an office, and their blood is the color of dirty ink. […] The world has been deliberately cut off from what gives it permanence: nature, the sea, hills, evening meditations. […] Nature is still there, nevertheless. Her calm skies and her reason oppose the folly of men. Until the atom too bursts into flame, and history ends in the triumph of reason and the death agony of the species. But the Greeks never said that the limit could not be crossed. They said it existed and that the man who dared ignore it was mercilessly struck own. Nothing in today’s history can contradict them. […] …man cannot do without beauty, and this is what our time seems to want to forget.38
There is an uncharacteristic bitterness in these lines combined with a realist’s unflinching observance of the world, as if for a moment Camus’s perennial buoyancy and determined hope have been defeated by the absurdity of an inexorable movement toward self-destruction. We know that Camus was occasionally given to darker states, but also that he emerged from them stronger. In his ‘Preface’ to ‘The Wrong Side and the Right Side’ he writes: I had not yet been through years of real despair. They came, and managed to destroy everything in me except an uncontrolled appetite for life.’39 And in ‘Return to Tipasa,’ he announces: ‘I discovered one must keep a freshness and a source of joy intact within, loving the daylight that injustice leaves unscathed, and returning to the fray with this light as a trophy.’40 Was Camus saved from despair by the sea? It seems probable, in particular in light of his assertion that ‘a man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.’41
As a university sophomore many years ago I discovered myself enrolled in a required humanities seminar titled ‘Portraits of Human Greatness’ in which Camus was prominently featured. Like many of my classmates I was at that time unfamiliar with Camus and quickly drawn to his thinking—to his philosophical ideas on absurdity and revolt as a way of grappling with meaning and alienation in the modern world. Reading out beyond the required texts I soon discovered Camus the man: elegant, passionate, bohemian, sensual. At some point in my omnivorous reading Camus became not just an intellectual helping me to think about the world, but a man showing me how to confront the world, how to be authentic in the world and draw meaning from it. Since my own orientation toward nature and specifically the ocean as a root and center of existence was by then already well established, I was that much more closely bound to Camus when I discovered that we shared the sea in common, not the Mediterranean per se, but the sea that is always one and the same.
Much has been written about Camus since his death in an auto accident on the road from Provence to Paris in January 1960.42 Little to none of that commentary concerns itself with this idea of the sea or the central role it played as origin and source in Camus’s life. With good reason I hasten to add. There simply is too much else to discuss. We embrace Camus today as one of the most penetrating and original thinkers of our time, as a man who brought a keen intelligence, a clear comprehension, and a full engagement to bear on the bewildering wasteland of the twentieth century. Camus’s writings treat ideas of freedom, responsibility, meaninglessness, suicide, totalitarianism, democracy, all in a singularly incisive, frequently subtle, and consistently fair and practical manner. He famously defied schools of thought and political movements. He became a public man of letters, to be sought out, emulated, or despised. He became a provocateur extraordinaire. Scholars took to disseminating and deconstructing his ideas with quasi-religious zeal. When his personal life was scrutinized that scrutiny appeared most frequently as either a shallow voyeurism or as a tangential exercise related to wider intellectual topics.
But Camus in the sea…Camus in sunlight…Camus as primitive sensualist, yes even Camus as surfer, as a kind of mythical Glaucus having discovered his home in the sea. These are the ways in which we come to know Camus best and love him best, because in these things he not only prophesied the environmental crises that lay in wait, he reached into our origins to examine deep sources of joy, transcendence, and transformation, offering us in his own broken humanity a return to ourselves, to cleansing, to sanity itself. When Camus was asked for his ten favorite words, four of them pointed the way: world, earth, summer, sea.43 Camus reminds us that the sea offers us lost things of lasting value: the prospect of wakeful presence, the fullness of the life in quest, the raw meanings of wildness, the challenges and consolations of a natural home—in a word the wholeness that escapes us, that recedes more quickly the faster we run. And wisdom, of course. The ancient Scandinavians honored skalds, poets and singers endowed with gifts of language that enabled them to articulate the valor and values of the tribe in the most powerful ways possible. In our own time Camus is one of these, exquisitely singing the sea-truths that surfers have known all along.
This article appears in print in Kurungabaa Vol. 3 No. 2, May 2011.
1 Richard Eder, ‘Uncomfortable in His Skin, Thriving in His Mind,’ New York Times, 25 June, 2008.
2 Matt Warshaw, The Encyclopedia of Surfing (New York: Harcourt, 2003) 378.
3 Surfersvillage Global Surf News, ‘Et l’Algerie vient de se qualifier pour la coupe du Monde,’ 14 December 2009, <http://www.surfersvillage.com/surfing/44501/news.htm>.
4 Surf Algeria, <http://surfalgerie.blogspot.com/>.
5 Kurungabaa, ‘Surfing in Algeria or Getting Loose with Burroughs,’ 26 March 2010, <http://kurungabaa.net/2010/03/26/surfing-in-algeria-or-getting-loose-with-burroughs//>.
6 Warshaw 211–14.
7 Albert Camus, Lyrical and Critical Essays, ed. Philip Thody, trans. Ellen Conroy Kennedy (New York: Vintage Books, 1970) 192.
8 Camus 196–97.
9 Camus 172.
10 Camus 173.
11 Camus 175.
12 Camus 181.
13 Camus 102.
14 Camus 100.
15 Camus 100.
16 Camus 100.
17 Camus 105.
18 Camus 66.
19 Camus 68.
20 Camus 68.
21 Camus 29.
22 Camus 72.
23 Camus 90.
24 Camus 101.
25 Camus 109.
26 Camus 60.
27 Camus 60.
28 Camus 139.
29 Camus 140.
30 Camus 145.
31 Camus 98.
32 Camus 69.
33 Camus 69.
34 Camus 71.
35 Camus 72.
36 Camus 147.
37 Camus 148.
38 Camus 148–52.
39 Camus 13.
40 Camus 168.
41 Camus 17.
42 Phil Patton, ‘Camus’s Death and a Rare French Sports Car,’ New York Times, 4 January 2010.
43 Albert Camus, Notebooks: 1951–1959, trans. Ryan Bloom (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2008) 5.
Chris Morgan earned his PhD in contemporary poetry from the University of Wales Aberystwyth. While living in the United Kingdom he contributed articles to scholarly journals such as Welsh Writing in English, New Welsh Review, and English. Later his poems and stories began appearing in literary journals in the United States including North Carolina Literary Review, Red Wheelbarrow Literary Review, Chesapeake Magazine, and Potomac Review. His book R. S. Thomas: Identity, Environment, and Deity (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003) explores the life and work of the Welsh poet and environmentalist R. S. Thomas, whose status as the foundational modernist poet of Wales is equivalent to that of W. B. Yeats in Ireland. Chris Morgan lives with his wife and two children in Annapolis, Maryland.