Sixty years after the French Nobel laureate Albert Camus died in a car crash at the age of 46, a new book is arguing that he was assassinated by KGB spies in retaliation for his anti-Soviet rhetoric.
Italian author Giovanni Catelli first aired his theory in 2011, writing in the newspaper Corriere della Sera that he had discovered remarks in the diary of the celebrated Czech poet and translator Jan Zábrana that suggested Camus’s death had not been an accident. Now Catelli has expanded on his research in a book titled The Death of Camus.
Camus was one of my earliest intellectual heroes. Orwell, despite his reputation for moral integrity, comes across to me now as a little too much a product of his time and place, too concerned with wanting to rehabilitate a “true” socialism from its real-world manifestation, which makes much of his work seem provincial and outdated. Camus, by contrast, planted his flag on more broadly humanistic terrain, for lack of a better term, and consequently seems more timeless in his outlook. Coincidentally, I was just leafing through The Rebel the other day in search of a particular passage, and I thought I should really get around to re-reading the entire book.