About the author: Dr. Vincent Grégoire, a native of Manisigné, France, joined the Berry College Foreign Language Faculty as an Assistant Professor of French in 1992. he received a Masters in History from the Université François Rabelais (Tours-France), then a second Masters and a PhD in French Literature from Rutgers University. He has published extensively on 17th-century French literature as well as on Albert Camus’s works. Grégoire is the Nichols Associate Professor of French.2003 0-7734-6583-9
This meticulous study proposes a reading of Camus’s novels and short stories through the themes of ‘absence’ and ‘insignificance.’ It argues that ‘absent characters’ (for example, the obliteration of the brother in The First Man, the erasure of Maman in L’Etranger, or the silencing of female characters in most works), ‘insignificant topics’ and ‘details’ (the use of cinema, dogs, trains, or fighting scenes) actually play a fundamental role. No single study has yet focused on the role of such apparently unimportant motifs in Camus’s fiction. The study demonstrates that these motifs are central to many of Camus’s novels and short stories because they deal with such key themes as exile, injustice, redemption, unsettled virility, and above all, humanism.