Journal Article

ART AND POLITICS IN ALBERT CAMUS: BEAUTY AS DEFIANCE AND ART AS A SPIRITUAL QUEST

John Randolph LeBlanc

in Literature and Theology

Volume 13, issue 2, pages 126-148
Published in print June 1999 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 1999 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/13.2.126
ART AND POLITICS IN ALBERT CAMUS: BEAUTY AS DEFIANCE AND ART AS A SPIRITUAL QUEST

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Albert Camus's interrogation of the ethical and spiritual vacuity of the twentieth century convinced him that authentic political existence requires a vision that embraces while transcending the human condition. He found his ethical model in art. The work of the artist can be analogous to that of the just political actor. The principal components of ethical political being are all present in Camus's aesthetics a vision of life in human community (lucidity), a grounded sense of justice subject to the limitations of human existence (beauty), a need to redress the defects of political reality (the urge to create), and an understanding that any structural solution is of necessity temporary (the need to rearticulate the initial vision). Camus's vision requires him to reject our positive political categories in the name of creative, grounded human being.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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