Those of us whose life was changed when first encountering the writing of Albert Camus will always regard his insights into the nature of the human condition as helping us to understand humanity in all its differing shades of truth. President Sarkozy, a Camus fan, has created a storm of protest by his desire to move the body of Camus from his grave and place it in the Pantheon in Paris, the resting place of those deemed “great” and “good” by the people of France. Left wing critics are furious their hero will be lying alongside the bodies of those who represent the establishment of French intelligence. Camus was a writer, a resistance hero, a man who clashedwith the great Jean Paul Sartre’s naive acceptance of communism, and remained a man alone.
Camus was not a left or right winger, not a liberal or a conservative, not a moderate or radical, his was a mind that always remained independent and not prone to be classified. He made us aware of the absurdity of life and each day we live only confirms that humanity is more absurd than realistic. Let him lie in rest, apart from the great because he never regarded himself as fitting that definition of greatness.