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The strains of cynical consciousness in Albert Camus

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The strains of cynical consciousness in Albert Camus

Mercado, Robert (2005) The strains of cynical consciousness in Albert Camus. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to determine that which constitutes cynical consciousness within the works of Albert Camus, as well as to consider the ways in which Camus' thought is guided by his intention to put forth a theory that is guided by humanistic valuations. It is therefore necessary to probe the interplay of the leading influences in Camus' intellectual make-up, which bring forth the tensions within Camus' humanistic project. It is shown that the strains of cynical consciousness arise from Camus' admiration for both the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and the literature of Fyodor Dostoevsky, with Dostoevsky understood as being a particularly authoritative figure within Camus' intellectual and creative temperament. The argument, then, is that Camus' fiction can be understood as an internal dialogue between the precepts of his humanistic stance and Dostoevsky's Christian existentialist position. As a result, Camus' humanism is characterized by the concepts of rehabilitation and reform, and his literary works can thus be understood as a critical assessment of the Nietzschean ideas of affirmation and metaphysical rebellion. It is concluded that Camus' unfettered zeal for Dostoevsky's "literature of interiority" is likewise driven by the idea of metaphysical rebellion. At the same time, it is argued that the pervasiveness of both Nietzsche and Dostoevsky's influence on Camus' thought severely limits the viability of Camus' humanist ethics and therefore restricts Camus' creative license.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mercado, Robert
Pagination:iv, 135 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hutter, H
ID Code:8226
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:19
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:19
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