“We have nothing to lose except everything. So let's go ahead. This is the wager of our generation. If we are to fail, it is better, in any case, to have stood on the side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are destroying it.” - Albert Camus, Author
Albert Camus was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in philosophy, Camus came to France at the age of twenty-five. He joined the resistance movement during the occupation and after the liberation was a columnist for the newspaper Combat (nobelprize.org).
During the war, Camus published a number of works which have become associated with his doctrine of the absurd. The novel, The Stranger (1942), has become the quintessential work of fiction of the 20th century on the theme of the alienated outsider. The Myth of Sysiphysus (1942) is an essay dedicated to the absurd. He also published two plays consistent with this theme: Cross Purpose (1944) and Caligula (1944). Although Camus is attracted to contemporary nihilism in these works, he became increasingly more ambivalent in his philosophy towards absurdism. He was not comfortable with the moral indifference necessarily implied by philosophical absurdism, and his political history and experiences in occupied France led him to search for a way to address moral responsibility. He exercised these thoughts in works like Letters to a German Friend (1945), which is published with a number of other political essays, in Resistance, Rebellion, and Death (1960).
From 1943, Albert Camus had correspondence with Altiero Spinelli who founded the European Federalist Movement in Milan. In 1944 Camus founded the "French Committee for the European Federation" (Comité Français pour la Féderation Européene -CFFE) declaring that Europe "can only evolve along the path of economic progress, democracy and peace if the nation states become a federation."
The first conference of the European Federalist Movement (from March 22–25, 1945, was organized in Paris with the participation of Albert Camus, George Orwell, Emmanuel Mounier, Lewis Mumford, André Philip, Daniel Mayer, François Bondy, and Altiero Spinelli. This specific branch of the European Federalist Movement disintegrated in 1957 after the domination of Winston Churchill's ideas about the European integration (An Overview of Albert Camus, The Plague).
Camus received the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature.