Monday, August 13, 2012

Letter from Albert Camus to his former Teacher

The following is from the book, The First Man" by Albert Camus, published after his death. This letter, and the reply from his teacher, are included with the book.

He wrote this fresh from his speech in Stockholm accepting the Nobel Prize for literature. He had this to say to his former teacher:

Dear Monsieur Germain,

I let the commotion around me these days subside a bit before speaking to you from the bottom of my heart. I have just been given far too great an honor, one I neither sought nor solicited. But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching, and your example, none of all this would have happened. I don't make too much of this sort of honor. But at least it gives me an opportunity to tell you what you have been and still are for me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart you put into it still live in one of your little schoolboys who, despite the years, has never stopped being your grateful pupil.

I embrace you with all my heart.
--Albert Camus

As someone who loves Camus and believes in the unique beauty and power of the personal letter, this is amazing.

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