Sunday, May 27, 2012

'The Plague' by Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)



The Joan of Arc statue, Caen, Calvados, France.

The statue of Joan of Arc seen above is located on the Avenue du 6 juin, Caen. It was originally located at Oran, Algeria (1931 - 1964) when Algeria formed part of French North africa. The statue is mentioned in the allegorical novel about WW2, 'The Plague' by the Nobel prize winner Albert Camus (1913 - 1960).


For additional information click on 'Comments' below.

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Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

In 'The Plague' ('La Peste') by Albert Camus he describes the rays of the rising sun striking the golden statue of Joan of Arc, the undefiled maiden and symbol of French defiance in the face of an occupying army. The sunbeam strikes the helmet of the golden statue of St Joan.

In 1964, after the civil war in Algeria and the departure of the majority of the French nationals to mainland France, Oran's Joan of Arc followed not long afterwards. It was re-erected at the Place de la Resistance, Avenue du 6 juin, Caen on 10 May 1964 in the presence of many French Algerian exiles (the 'Pieds-Noirs'). Ever since, the golden Joan of Arc of Oran has stood proudly in this place where both the Resistance and the Liberation of France are commemorated.

At one level, 'The Plague' of Albert Camus can be interpreted as an allegory of the effects of WW2 on France - in particular the German Occupation. The 'plague', inflicted on the population of Oran by is symbolic of death and evil. Families are separated not only by death but in some cases due to the city gates being closed.indefinitely. Eventually, after facing up to evil and death the rats go, the plague departs and daily life continues, if not the same as before.

During WW2 Albert Camus was a journalist and worked for 'Combat', one of the principal clandestine news sheet of the French Resistance. Albert Camus won the nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 and was feted the world over. In 1960 he was killed as the result of a motor accident. He was 46 years old and had fate not declared otherwise he would have had many more years of fruitful writing ahead of him.
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Sunday, 27 May, 2012  

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