Tag Archives | Albert Camus

FBI Spied On Sartre And Camus In Effort To Unravel Subversive Conspiracy Behind Existentialism

sartre_jpThe New York Times reports that beginning in 1945, the FBI began spying on the French philosophers, fearing that their ideas on being and nothingness were part of a plot against the United States:

[Sartre and Camus]’s lectures at Columbia University were well attended by students and faculty members — and by agents from J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I.

Yet Sartre, on his visit, was actually invited to the Pentagon; Camus, in contrast, “was stopped at immigration…Hoover sent out a ‘stop letter’ to all U.S. customs agents saying this man should be detained,” Mr. Martin said. Eventually, Camus was allowed to proceed to New York, where his novel “L’Étranger” (“The Stranger”) had just been published in English.

“Hoover thought there must be some kind of conspiracy between communists, blacks, poets and French philosophers. He was hoping for some kind of evidence of conspiracy,” he said.

The F.B.I. was baffled by Sartre. “These agents were trying to work out what the hell existentialism was all about,” said Mr.

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New Theory Blames KGB For Albert Camus Death

Albert Camus, 1957

Albert Camus, 1957

Did the Soviet foreign minister have a hand in the death of famed french writer Albert Camus? Via AFP:

Famous French author Albert Camus, who died in a car accident in 1960, may have been the victim of a Soviet plot, new research suggests.

Italian academic Giovanni Catelli, an eastern European specialist, put forward the theory in the pages of the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera. On Monday it was greeted with scepticism among other experts.

He noted that a passage in a diary written by Czech poet Jan Zabrana, published as a book, was absent from the Italian translation.

According to Catelli the missing paragraph concerns a meeting between Zabrana and and a Russian KGB contact.

“I heard something very strange from a man who knew lots of things and had very informed sources,” Zabrana writes in the unexpurgated version.

“He said the road accident that cost Albert Camus his life in 1960 was organised by Soviet spies.

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