Monday, August 08, 2011

The Philosopher and the Spy

Nobel Prize-winning writer, journalist and philosopher Albert Camus died in 1960 at the age of 46. His death was due to a tragic car accident. Or was it? An Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, is now suggesting Camus’ death might have been part of a cold war plot to silence the outspoken writer. From The Guardian:
The theory is based on remarks by Giovanni Catelli, an Italian academic and poet, who noted that a passage in a diary written by the celebrated Czech poet and translator Jan Zábrana, and published as a book entitled Celý život, was missing from the Italian translation.

In the missing paragraph, Zábrana writes: "I heard something very strange from the mouth of a man who knew lots of things and had very informed sources. According to him, the accident that had cost Albert Camus his life in 1960 was organised by Soviet spies. They damaged a tyre on the car using a sophisticated piece of equipment that cut or made a hole in the wheel at speed.
In 1957, Camus became the second youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, awarded to him “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.” He died January 4, 1960, a little more than two years after winning the award.


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