Saturday, January 29

The extraordinary two-month trip through South America that Albert Camus made 71 years ago

  • Norberto Paredes
  • HayFestivalArequipa @ BBC World


On his tour of South America, Camus visited four countries and eight cities. This would be the last time that the Nobel Prize winner in Literature would travel outside of Europe.

Albert Camus discovered Buenos Aires in 1949, but unlike Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who ended up in love with the Argentine capital, he saw a huge city with a “strange ugliness.”

Much has been written about his novels – which include masterpieces such as Abroad Y The Plague-, his illness and his charms have also been talked about, but few know that one of the most prominent writers of the 20th century visited South America, and that the region left him with a bittersweet taste.

At that time, Latin America was still synonymous with exoticism in France, but that image was already changing thanks to the fact that more and more European intellectuals visited this corner of the world and published writings that were located in the region, as Saint-Exupéry had done with his novel Night flight.

The extraordinary journey that Camus made through South America was documented in the post-mortem autobiographical work Travel diaries, a story divided into two parts in which he also recounts his adventures in North America in 1946.

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