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Of Peacoats and Futile Human Striving 

Wednesday, Dec 30 2009
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This week we salute celebrated writer and absurdist peacoat model Albert Camus, who authored memorable romantic comedies such as The Stranger, which hinges upon the irrational murder of an Arab man in French Algiers, and The Plague, which follows the zany adventures of a bubonic plague epidemic in the city of Oran. More specifically, we mark the 50th anniversary of his death with "Remembering Albert Camus," a program of short readings in French and English. The Nobel Prize-winning would-be-existentialist-who-rejected-the-existentialist-label also opposed nihilism, and therefore shouldn't roll over in his grave too much at the thought of this life-affirming literary tribute. A gripping body of work that includes an essay on the futility of man's search for meaning (The Myth of Sisyphus), a metaphysical and historical survey of rebellion (The Rebel), and a meditation on the abolition of the death penalty (Reflections on the Guillotine) provides rich material for public readings by Alan Black, Ivory Madison, and Patrick Burger. Michael Disend and Sadia and Miles Faber also pay homage, celebrating an author who deeply examined both individual freedom and the paradox of the absurd. Afterward, the soccer film Zidane screens, because everyone likes that.
Sat., Jan. 9, 2 p.m., 2010

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Evan James

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