How should we think about the relationship between Camus’ writing and his biography as a person born and raised in colonial Algeria? This question has preoccupied many critics, particularly in recent years. Over the years many interpreters of the novel have emphasized the philosophical — perhaps “universal” — themes approached in the book, sometimes downplaying the importance of its placement within the colonial Algerian context. But a recent book by David Carroll, argues that connecting Camus to his Algerian roots is vital for understanding his work. You can read an interview with Caroll about his book here.

Stephen’s post on this blog, meanwhile, provides a link to an excellent article by Philippe Lancon (who is currently teaching at Duke), which also explores the question.

Camus, meanwhile, also features — quoted by Newt Gingrich — in an essay about the health care debate that opens this week’s New Yorker.

Please provide responses or comments here in preparation for our Thursday class.