More than fifty years after Algerian independence, Albert Camus "Algerian Chronicles" appears here in English for the first time. Published in France in 1958, the same year the Algerian War brought about the collapse of the Fourth French Republic, it is one of Camus most political works an exploration of his commitments to Algeria. Dismissed or disdained at publication, today "Algerian Chronicles, " with its prescient analysis of the dead end of terrorism, enjoys a new life in Arthur Goldhammer s elegant translation.
Believe me when I tell you that Algeria is where I hurt at this moment, Camus, who was the most visible symbol of France s troubled relationship with Algeria, writes, as others feel pain in their lungs. Gathered here are Camus strongest statements on Algeria from the 1930s through the 1950s, revised and supplemented by the author for publication in book form.
In her introduction, Alice Kaplan illuminates the dilemma faced by Camus: he was committed to the defense of those who suffered colonial injustices, yet was unable to support Algerian national sovereignty apart from France. An appendix of lesser-known texts that did not appear in the French edition complements the picture of a moralist who posed questions about violence and counter-violence, national identity, terrorism, and justice that continue to illuminate our contemporary world."
in Europe is this crowded. The mean density in France is 71 per square kilometer. Furthermore, the Kabyle people consume mainly cereals such as wheat, barley, and sorghum in the form of flatcakes or couscous, but the Kabyle soil does not support these crops. The region’s cereal production meets only one-eighth of its consumption needs. The grain necessary for life must therefore be purchased on the open market. In a region with virtually no industry, this can be done only by supplying a surplus
personal status2 when it comes to extending political rights to natives, but when applied to Kabylia, the argument becomes ridiculous, because it was we French who imposed a personal status on the Kabyles by Arabizing their country with the caïd system and introducing the Arabic language. It ill behooves us today to reproach the Kabyles for embracing the status we imposed on them. That the Kabyle people are ready for greater independence and self-rule was obvious to me one morning when, after
with other issues. Housing, for example, could be based on the model established by the Loucheur Law.1 The beneficiaries of housing assistance could contribute by providing land, labor, and materials (nearly every Kabyle owns a plot of land). There are also grounds for reconsidering the way in which communal revenues are shared between the European and native population and for asking Europeans to make the necessary sacrifices. These policies would revive the real Kabylia. The dreadful misery of
have hitherto lived under a particular form of repression. 2. Some 1,200,000 French natives of Algeria have a right to live in their homeland and cannot be left to the discretion of fanatical rebel leaders. 3. The freedom of the West depends on certain strategic interests. Then the French government must make it clear that: 1. It is disposed to treat the Arab people of Algeria justly and free them from the colonial system. 2. It will not sacrifice any of the rights of the French of Algeria.
4–5; AC questioned in Stockholm by representative of, 214 Front Islamic du Salut (Islamic Front), 9 Gandhi, 27 Germain, Louis, 3–4 Germany, fascism in, 190 “Govern” (Camus), 169–172 Grenier, Roger, 5 Grine, Hamid, 11 Guelma massacre, 112 “Guest, The” (Camus), 13 Hadj, Messali, 16, 203n Hadjeres, M., 66–67, 68, 70 Housing assistance, urged for Kabylia, 80 Hungary, 16, 206–207 Ikedjane douar, education in, 61 “Indigenous Culture: The New Mediterranean Culture” (Camus), 15