Rereading some good books about Camus and his times, which strike me as highly relevant again. Robert Zaretsky’s Elements of a Life, and Alice Kaplan’s Looking for the Stranger, with more on my To Be Read shelf, including The Plague. His refusal to follow the prevailing winds, his courage under direct and indirect fire, his impassioned moral compass — we could use all of that right now.
Perhaps it was growing up poor, in Algiers, with a mother who was near-deaf and rarely spoke. The silence of these infinite spaces must have spoken volumes to him, along with the sea, the sun, his love of literature and philosophy. An indifferent universe he fought to understand and love. The Absurd. But not just the universe. Colonial rule, its horrific contradictions, the unnatural conflicts it creates — not found outside it. Only when we Sapiens choose to impose them on others. Camus was a minority within a minority — a young European writer/intellectual, a seer among the Pied Noirs. But unlike Kafka and his people, his biology was not turned against him. It did not become destiny.
Silence. Families. Coda. Also by the sea. A wonderfully moving film about a deaf family and its hearing daughter, tasked with translating for her parents, and sometimes for her frustrated, angry brother. She wants to sing, but doesn’t have the time between her family’s fishing business, high school, and finding who she wants to become. No time, and it’s all absurd, and her parents are hysterically funny along the way. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen in a long, long time. I think Camus would relate.
Adjusting my parameters a bit more. If I can do something with brushes or relevant painting accessories in the real world, then it’s okay to use software to help, to reproduce these effects. Saving time, saving space, saving my lungs — is a legitimate pursuit. Will try to adhere to this rule at all times. If it can’t be done in the physical world, I won’t go there virtually with my art. The mind finds its Absurd either way.