I read a Camu essay for the second time today. His ”Lessons from the Guillotine” is one of the most beautiful essays Ive ever read. What differentiates the book from other Camu novels is that this is not just an emotion filled piece of his like ‘The Plague’ and ‘The Outsider’ but has a touch of rationality in it. While I have quoted from his âLetters to a German Friendâ a lot of times in my previous posts, there is a lot more to speak about this book.
The 23 political essays in the book, “Resistance Rebellion and Death” speak on a diverse range of issues from Algeria, the World War to the Death Penalty and Democracy in general. Most of these essays were written at a time when he was underground and writing for the French revolutionary papers as a secret editor.
A review from Amazon.com reads,
“Resistance, Rebellion, and Death bears witness to the passionately scrupulous sense of responsibility which made Camus the kind of man and the kind of writer he was” .
Another very important aspect of this book is that Camu makes it explicit that no democracy can function without the freedom and rights for all its citizens. Justice, he says is a trait of every successful democracy. I recommend this book for all those who would want to look at the moral and political side of Camu. The book is one of those that gives you a perspective into the human struggle for freedom and the demand for a just order.