Albert Camus's ‘The New Mediterranean Culture': A Text and its Contexts by Neil FoxleeAlbert Camus's ‘The New Mediterranean Culture': A Text and its Contexts by Neil Foxlee

Albert Camus's ‘The New Mediterranean Culture': A Text and its Contexts

byNeil Foxlee

Paperback | October 6, 2010

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This book was shortlisted for the R.H. Gapper prize 2011.
On 8 February 1937 the 23-year-old Albert Camus gave an inaugural lecture for a new Maison de la culture, or community arts centre, in Algiers. Entitled ‘La nouvelle culture méditerranéenne’ (‘The New Mediterranean Culture’), Camus’s lecture has been interpreted in radically different ways: while some critics have dismissed it as an incoherent piece of juvenilia, others see it as key to understanding his future development as a thinker, whether as the first expression of his so-called ‘Mediterranean humanism’ or as an early indication of what is seen as his essentially colonial mentality.
These various interpretations are based on reading the text of ‘The New Mediterranean Culture’ in a single context, whether that of Camus’s life and work as a whole, of French discourses on the Mediterranean or of colonial Algeria (and French discourses on that country). By contrast, this study argues that Camus’s lecture – and in principle any historical text – needs to be seen in a multiplicity of contexts, discursive and otherwise, if readers are to understand properly what its author was doing in writing it. Using Camus’s lecture as a case study, the book provides a detailed theoretical and practical justification of this ‘multi-contextualist’ approach.
Neil Foxlee is a Visiting Research Fellow at Lancaster University and a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, where his teaching has included MA modules on Political Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Narrative and Image. His published work includes several articles on Camus and a study of the campaign rhetoric of Barack Obama. H...
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Title:Albert Camus's ‘The New Mediterranean Culture': A Text and its ContextsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:October 6, 2010Publisher:Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der WissenschaftenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:303430207X

ISBN - 13:9783034302074

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Table of Contents

Contents: A multi-contextualist approach to intellectual-historical method, influenced by Quentin Skinner – Annotated translations of Albert Camus’s ‘The New Mediterranean Culture’ and ‘Reflections on Generosity’ – Critique of humanist and postcolonial approaches to Camus – French discourses on the Mediterranean – Gabriel Audisio’s Mediterraneanism – Interwar French intellectual debates on culture and the East-West question – 1930s Algerian politics – Camus’s early life and formative influences – The legacy of ‘The New Mediterranean Culture’ in Camus’s later work.

Editorial Reviews

«Foxlee’s [book] is a rich and informative account that sheds new light on the intellectual life of the interwar years. [...] Much more than an analysis of Camus’s 1937 lecture, this work should command the attention of anyone interested in interwar France or the ends of empire in Europe. At the same time it is the best English-language study to date of Camus’s early intellectual endeavours.» (John Strachan, Modern & Contemporary France)