The manuscript of 'The Stranger' that Camus wrote after publishing his iconic novel is auctioned for half one million euros | Culture | EUROtoday

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Only two manuscripts of Abroad. The first is stored in a library within the south of France. The second belonged to an nameless collector and was auctioned this Wednesday in Paris for 500,000 euros. Its 104 pages include notes within the margins, crossing outs and sketches. But its worth additionally lies within the thriller that surrounds it. Despite being dated 1940, its writer, the Frenchman Albert Camus, wrote it in 1944, two years after the publication of his iconic novel, in accordance with testimonies from his household. A element that permits us to get nearer to the context of the time and description sure traits of the character of the Nobel Prize winner in Literature.

The manuscript, written within the aftermath, barely appeared twice in public gross sales. In 1958 and in 1991. But the public sale on the Tajan home this Wednesday has put it again within the highlight, though grey areas stay in its historical past. Why did Camus determine to rewrite an already revealed novel by hand? Was it a farce? A fee? Or maybe a strategy to make more money, profiting from the nascent success of Abroad? There are not any certainties, however there are some clues.

Scholars of the writer usually check with the testimony of Francine Faure, his spouse, who in 1970 informed specialist André Abbou that the rewriting was in all probability executed “to satisfy the young writer's need for money.” In 1944, Camus was 31 years outdated, dwelling in Paris and dealing for the underground journal Combat, spokesman for the French Resistance towards the German invasion in World War II. His earnings, nevertheless, was obtained primarily from Gallimard, the well-known publishing home for which he labored as a reader and which gave him an advance on his copyright, says Anne Prouteau, president of the Society for Camus Studies, in a phone dialog. .

The first page of a manuscript of 'The Stranger'
The first web page of a manuscript of 'The Stranger'Tajan House

Although it’s unknown to whom the manuscript was bought, the specialists of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957 spotlight the rising curiosity that bibliophiles had in the sort of texts. “A publishing historian I interviewed told me that during the occupation [de Francia] “There was an art and autograph market in full expansion,” explains Mohammed Aïssaoui, author of the Love Dictionary by Albert Camus and journalist Le Figaro.

The Tajan auction house, in a note, points out that the then young essayist realized the commercial value of his manuscript and the benefits he could obtain. Abroad, published in 1942, did not yet have the success that it would experience after the war, but it already enjoyed a certain renown in the Parisian intellectual circle of the time. A year after its publication, the philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre published a review of the text, which gave it greater interest.

The testimony of Francine Faure, Camus's wife, adds another detail: it was Josette Clotis, a friend, who dictated her own text to the Nobel Prize winner. The woman, barely three years older than him, was the partner of the novelist André Malraux, who was then working for Gallimard. A presence that Catherine Camus, the daughter of the Nobel Prize winner, also confirmed in an interview in 2014 with Alice Kaplan, professor at the American University of Yale and author of the essay In search of the Stranger [En busca de ‘El extranjero’].

Was it Malraux who recommended the young author write the manuscript? The question remains unanswered. But what is interesting, according to Prouteau, is to remember the role of the novelist in the edition of Abroad. “When he received the working manuscript of the work, in 1941, he immediately saw that it was a great text, he made some recommendations to Camus (…) and then he really supported the edition of the text in Gallimard,” he remarks.

Suns, cartoons and guillotines

Regardless of whether or not or not it was written with the goal of incomes further earnings, the manuscript itself is “a very beautiful object,” highlights Ségolène Beauchamp, an professional on historic and trendy books. The piece was valued between 500,000 and 800,000 euros. Its inflexible cowl is embellished with golden geometric strains. “The sheets are abundantly filled, used, the margins are still wide, but on them she wrote many comments, corrections, and added a dozen small drawings, which is quite exceptional in her work,” she describes.

The drawings are accompanied by fragments of textual content. There are caricatures of characters, suns and guillotines, these in three sizes. “The closer we get to the end of the novel, the more important the guillotine becomes. The last one, for example, takes up two-thirds of the page,” Beauchamp factors out. The feedback, he provides, include parts of humor and a few refer to 2 different works he was engaged on: The fantasy of Sisyphusrevealed in 1942, and Caligulafrom 1944.

However, by noting that the date of the manuscript was 1940, Camus means that it was the true draft of his well-known novel. “I insist on the playful, mischievous, slightly farcical dimension” that the manuscript incorporates, says Prouteau. “I don't think Camus would be displeased (…) not to make fun of it, but to be a little ironic about the economic attractiveness of such manuscripts for bibliophiles.” Meanwhile, Aïssaoui provides: “Camus has been analyzed in a thousand ways. Personally, I perceived this slightly joking side thanks to Catherine Camus, whom I met for my Love Dictionary by Albert Camus. He told me about his father, a man who sang popular songs at the top of his lungs.”

Abroad It facilities on a younger French Algerian worker, named Meursault, who narrates how he kills an Arab for unclear causes. Initially 4,400 copies have been printed, over time it turned a bestseller and a traditional of French literature.

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