By Neil Foxlee
On eight February 1937 the 23-year-old Albert Camus gave an inaugural lecture for a brand new Maison de los angeles tradition, or group arts centre, in Algiers. Entitled ‘La nouvelle tradition méditerranéenne’ (‘The New Mediterranean Culture’), Camus’s lecture has been interpreted in substantially alternative ways: whereas a few critics have brushed off it as an incoherent piece of juvenilia, others see it as key to knowing his destiny improvement as a philosopher, even if because the first expression of his so-called ‘Mediterranean humanism’ or as an early indication of what's obvious as his basically colonial mentality.
These quite a few interpretations are in accordance with analyzing the textual content of ‘The New Mediterranean Culture’ in one context, no matter if that of Camus’s existence and paintings as an entire, of French discourses at the Mediterranean or of colonial Algeria (and French discourses on that country). in contrast, this examine argues that Camus’s lecture - and in precept any ancient textual content - should be obvious in a multiplicity of contexts, discursive and differently, if readers are to appreciate correctly what its writer was once doing in writing it. utilizing Camus’s lecture as a case examine, the ebook presents a close theoretical and sensible justification of this ‘multi-contextualist’ method.
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Extra resources for Albert Camus's 'The New Mediterranean Culture': A Text and its Contexts (Modern French Identities)
A civilization is only lasting to the extent that, when all nations have been done away with, its unity and its greatness come from a spiritual principle. 12 That is why, without further consideration, we will reject the principle of a Mediterranean nationalism. Moreover, there can be no question of a Mediterranean culture being superior. Man expresses himself in harmony with his region. And superiority, in the cultural sphere, lies solely in this harmony. There is no greater or lesser culture.
26–27). Towards a Multi-Contextualist Approach 17 to require precisely this. Equally, however, we can never be certain that we have not managed to understand the thinkers of the past more or less on their own terms: in practice, as we do in our dealings with other people in everyday life, we have to rely on inference. By the very nature of things, then, what Skinner is doing is not ‘recovering’ the actual beliefs, concepts and distinctions of the thinkers he studies, but rather – and in the full sense of the word – reconstructing them, working on the assumption that the best evidence for this will be provided by situating the texts he studies in their intellectual and discursive contexts.
It is Spain, its strength and its pessimism, and not the sabre-rattling of Rome – landscapes bursting with sunlight and not the stage-sets where a dictator becomes intoxicated with the sound of his own voice and subjugates crowds. 24 IV. 25 For it is not classical and ordered, it is diffuse and turbulent, like those Arab quarters or those ports of Genoa and Tunisia. This triumphant taste for life, this sense of oppressiveness and boredom, the deserted squares in Spain at midday, the siesta – that is the true Mediterranean and it is the East that it resembles.
Albert Camus's 'The New Mediterranean Culture': A Text and its Contexts (Modern French Identities) by Neil Foxlee