Hear Camus’ 1946 lecture: “The Human Crisis” – even more profound today

Albert Camus delivered this lecture on “La Crise de l’homme” in 1946 at Columbia University, on his only trip to the United States. The lecture is presented here in English translation.

Camus
““I think my life is of great importance, but I also think it is meaningless.” – Albert Camus

00:20 Introduction by Shanny Peer, Director of the Maison Française
05:35 Introduction by Alice Kaplan, Professor of Yale University
11:50 Reading of ‘The Human Crisis’ by Viggo Mortensen
56:50 Discussion with Viggo Mortensen, Alice Kaplan and Souleymane Bachir Diagne

On April 28, 2016 a reading by Viggo Mortensen of a speech by Albert Camus, and roundtable discussion with Viggo Mortensen, Alice Kaplan and Souleymane Bachir Diagne Albert Camus originally delivered this lecture on “La Crise de l’homme” on March 28, 1946, to a very full house at the McMillin Academic Theatre at Columbia University,

on his first and only trip to the United States. 70 years later, to celebrate Camus’s visit to New York and Columbia, his lecture will be delivered in a dramatic reading by the actor Viggo Mortensen, in a version newly translated into English by Alice Kaplan.

The event will be introduced by Shanny Peer and by Alice Kaplan, who will share new research from her forthcoming book, Looking for the Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, to bring alive Camus’ U.S. visit and provide a context for his lecture. After the reading, Bachir Diagne and Alice Kaplan will be joined by Viggo Mortensen for a panel discussion about Albert Camus’ influence, his impressions of the U.S., and his reception in this country as a leading voice of the postwar generation of French intellectuals.

Participants: Viggo Mortensen has consistently earned acclaim for his work in a wide range of films. Some of these include Jauja, Loin des hommes, The Two Faces of January, A Dangerous Method, The Road, Eastern Promises, Appaloosa, A History of Violence, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

He has received various nominations and awards from groups including the Screen Actors Guild, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Apart from acting in movies and plays, Mortensen is a poet, photographer, and painter. He founded and is the editor of Perceval Press, an independent publishing house specializing in poetry, photography, painting, and critical writing. Souleymane Bachir Diagne is Professor of Philosophy and French and Chair, Department of French, Columbia University. Alice Kaplan is the John M. Musser Professor of French and chair of the Department of French at Yale University.

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