Who's reading whom?

J.G.Ballard's first volume of collected non-fiction, 'A User's Guide to the Millennium' will be published by HarperCollins in January
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Who's reading whom?

When Albert Camus died in a car crash in 1960, the manuscript of his last novel The First Man (Hamish Hamilton) was found in the wreckage. It is perhaps two thirds of what Camus intended - enough to publish - but as his daughter points out in the introduction, its colonialist subject matter and the fact that Camus was under attack from the extreme left- wing of the French intelligensia, convinced his widow it was untimely to release it. We are lucky to have it now. It is the most brilliant semi- autobiographical account of an Algerian childhood amongst the grinding poverty and stoicism of poor French-Algerian colonials. Camus's notes and revisions appear as an appendix and the evolution of the book is clearly visible. His ability to conjure landscape and atmosphere in long, long sentences of exact description without resorting to simile or metaphor is extraordinary.

Comments