Travels in the Americas

Albert Camus’s lively journals from his eventful visits to the United States and South America in the 1940s, available again in a new translation. In March 1946, the young Albert Camus crossed from Le Havre to New York. Though he was virtually unknown to American audiences at the time, all that was about to change—The Stranger, his first book translated into English, would soon make him a literary star. By 1949, when he set out on a tour of South America, Camus was an international celebrity. Camus’s journals offer an intimate glimpse into his daily life during these eventful years and showcase his thinking at its most personal—a form of observational writing that the French call choses vues (things seen). Camus’s journals from these travels record his impressions, frustrations, joys, and longings. Here are his unguarded first impressions of his surroundings and his encounters with publishers, critics, and members of the New York intelligentsia. Long unavailable in English, the journals have now been expertly retranslated by Ryan Bloom, with a new introduction by Alice Kaplan. Bloom’s translation captures the informal, sketch-like quality of Camus’s observations—by turns ironic, bitter, cutting, and melancholy—and the quick notes he must have taken after exhausting days of travel and lecturing. Bloom and Kaplan’s notes and annotations allow readers to walk beside the existentialist thinker as he experiences changes in his own life and the world around him, all in his inimitable style.

Author
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Release Date
ISBN 022675040X
Pages 153 pages
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