Solitaire/Solidaire : Camus, contemplation, and the vita mixta

Journal article


Sharpe, Matthew. (2021). Solitaire/Solidaire : Camus, contemplation, and the vita mixta. Telos. 2021(196), pp. 31-43. https://doi.org/10.3817/0921196031
AuthorsSharpe, Matthew
Abstract

[Extract] Albert Camus’s short story “Jonas, or The Artist at Work” was originally drafted in 1953 as “La Vie d’artiste.”1 The published story, included in 1957’s Exile and the Kingdom, dramatizes the rise and fall of a Parisian painter. Both the story’s title and its biblical epitaph recall the book of Jonah. Having had success with early paintings, Jonas buys a small Parisian apartment with large vertical windows, suggesting the ribs of Jonah’s whale, which is soon filled with a host of admirers who come to dote upon the new sensation. Jonas spends his days in the main room trying to paint, a baby in one hand, the constantly ringing telephone nearby, and hangers-on everywhere. In spare moments, he struggles to answer a growing correspondence of petitioners. Soon, Jonas finds himself expected to comment on all of the issues of the day, with “Just as you say” becoming his compliant mantra.2

Year2021
JournalTelos
Journal citation2021 (196), pp. 31-43
PublisherTelos Press Publishing
ISSN0090-6514
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3817/0921196031
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Output statusPublished
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Online2021
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Deposited14 Nov 2023
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