It has long been the case that historians of decolonization and literary scholars have read Albert Camus’ writings and public statements on the French-Algerian War through the lens of an inevitable and frantic evacuation of the pieds noirs from Algeria in the summer of 1962. However, neither this zero sum flight of the pieds noirs from Algeria nor the reading it produced of Camus was inevitable. To understand why this is the case, this article considers the Camus debate from within the larger context of settler anticolonial movements represented by other writers of European origin in Africa, especially André Brink and other anti-apartheid Afrikaner writers in South Africa. By re-reading Camus as a non-zero sum anticolonial thinker and along side other similar anticolonial thinkers and activists, this article suggests that a fresh and more nuanced reading of Camus is now both possible and necessary. This reading, which puts aside the zero sum logic of more radical anticolonial thinkers (such as Jean-Paul Sartre of Fantz Fanon), also helps to better understand the history and implications for a more complex anticolonial world-view that Albert Camus advanced in his writings.


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pp. 27-42
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