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The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  5,659 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Camus' major essay on the nature and origins of rebellion demonstrates how revolution, by its very nature, inevitably leads to new tyranny. Translated by Anthony Bower.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Vintage Books (first published 1951)
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The Stranger by Albert CamusThe Plague by Albert CamusThe Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert CamusThe Fall by Albert CamusThe Rebel by Albert Camus
All about Camus
5th out of 40 books — 55 voters
The Stranger by Albert CamusSiddhartha by Hermann Hesse1984 by George OrwellThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryCrime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Best Philosophical Literature
182nd out of 537 books — 1,586 voters


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Eric
Although I've always been temperamentally skeptical of Utopias, I'm thankful to Camus for completely inoculating me, as a 15-year-old, against the various postures of chic revolt so common among the teenagers of bored, affluent nations. There was no silk-screened Che across my bosom. Revolutions aren't secular versions of the Rapture, in which the "bad" government disappears, to be replaced by a new, "good" one. Revolution is generally a social calamity, a nightmare of inhumanity: one regime dis...more
Rakhi Dalal
Oct 13, 2013 Rakhi Dalal is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rebel, manny
Camus makes me think. He is the author who has the power to steer my thoughts, along the line of his beliefs. He is dead. If he were alive, I am sure he would have supported the readers' movement against the irrational outlook of GR administration as regarding the freedom of readers to express their views. He would have hailed their rebellion and joined in to support, because I am sure he understood that all readers have their own opinions. He wouldn't be bothered by criticism.

As the choreograph...more
Jeremy
Lucifer has also died with God, and from his ashes has risen a spiteful demon who does not even understand the object of his venture. In 1953, excess is always a comfort, and sometimes a career.




My second reading of Camus’ most divisive and controversial book, The Rebel, achieved something more than the first, perhaps over fifteen years ago. I had not read The Brothers Karamazov then, nor The Devils or Camus’ for-stage adaptation of The Devils: The Possessed, nor Camus’ play, The Just; and, in pa...more
Javier
I must confess that I didn't find much that was especially insightful in Camus' account of rebellion, revolution, and nihilism here while reading it, but now that I look back on it, I see that he actually has much to say--and that much of it is worthwhile.

Camus begins by defining the rebel as one who affirms by negating, who says yes in saying no--one who decries absolute freedom in establishing limits to acceptable behavior. He thus immediately counterposes the rebel with the nihilist, who, in...more
Renée
May 29, 2007 Renée rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who like to think
Although Camus is remembered more as a literary author than a philosopher, I think this work is fantastic. It's influenced me and my thinking more than any other author (apart from perhaps Nietzsche and George Steiner). Because Camus is such a wonderful author it is also not a particularely difficult read, as opposed to, say, Sartre's philosophical works (I do like Being and Nothingness, but he's really overdoing it), which makes it accessible for those who have not been educated in philosophy a...more
Leonard
In The Rebel, Albert Camus, the master of existentialism, analyzed the spirit of rebellion from the French Revolution to the Russian Revolution. The Jacobins, rebelled against King and God and by making their principles divine, introduced the Reign of Terror.
Nihilism went further and eliminated absolute principles and its rise during the second half of the nineteenth century created terrorists who renounced virtue and principles and who rebelled against reality and history by destroying them. F...more
Michael
Nov 25, 2007 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thinkers
Oh wow, that was an exciting trip. I feel like I've just spent the last few weeks driving at high speed through the desert in an unsuitable vehicle.
I got lost a few times, misplaced my map, ran out of water and my vehicle broke down almost every day; sometimes I feared that I'd never find my way out of the wilderness (or to the end of the chapter). There were some frightening experiences, a bumpy ride (I feel mentally beaten up) and occasional views of the big picture (more beautiful, breathtaki...more
Jim Coughenour
I admit – when I first picked up The Rebel in this artful Penguin edition, I was picturing beatniks with berets and cigarettes contesting over existentialist espressos about the absurdity of man and the imperative to resist. Instead I found myself pounding through pages of difficult, beautifully-phrased polemic, never quite sure what was being argued for or against. It's not so much that Camus meanders as that he seems to take a very long, philosophical-historical route to reach the most obvious...more
Mariam Okasha
يمكن أن أقول أن الكتاب رائع حرفياً, فأنا استفدتُ منه كثيراً, الكتاب تحدث عن تاريخ التمرد البشري و عرض فكر كامو المجرد عن نماذج من التاريخ الواقعي أو الأسطوري, نماذج لم يتناولها فكر كامو كما تناولها عامة المفكرين و الفلاسفة و سقوها للعامة, الكتاب عبارة عن نموذج تحرري متمرد على كل الأفكار السابقة عن تلك النماذج و معالجة عدمية تمردية للأفكار.
و يمكن أيضاً أن أنعت الكتاب بالممل و المكرر لأن كامو كان يكرر الأفكار ذاتها بطرق مختلفة, و لهذا مللتُ منه كثيراً في النهاية, لكن و إن كرر الفكرة ألف مرة, لن أ...more
Brittany Binowski
Skip the 150 pages in the middle of the book. Just read the beginning and the end. The background and history is long-winded and irrelevant, but the takeaways are golden.

Here's what I got from it:

-The next great war is that between the artists and the conquerors. We don't know who will win, we just know that one of them will win.

-The problem with conquerors is that they can destroy, but they can't create. The problem with artists is that they can create, but they can't destroy. The victor, or th...more
Mohamadreza Rahnama

آزادی مطلق، عدالت را به سخره می گیرد. عدالت مطلق، آزادی را انکار می کند. برای اینکه بتوان به نتیجه رسید، این هر دو، باید محدودیت های خود را در بطن دیگری بیابند.

فرد ممکن است این گونه بیاندیشد که دوره زمانی که در آن 70 میلیون انسان نابود شده، اسیر شده یا کشته شده اند، باید فورا و بی درنگ محکوم شود. اما با این وجود، دلیل آن باید که درک و شناخته شود.

هر ایدئولوژی، در تضاد با روانشناسی انسان است.

هر نوع سرکشی، دلالت بر نوعی سازگاری و وحدت دارد.

Jen
this was way harder to read than it should have been for someone who a] actually likes camus, b] is fascinated by social movement theory, and c] has nothing to do on the train but read. however, i found myself putting it down to stare out the window far too often to say i really enjoyed it. he seemed almost too self-conscious about his own theory - and too hung up on other people's theories - to really make it a compelling read.
matt

You know those kinds of books which you read amid the din of everyday life and you eventually finish while the whole time you realize that so much has gone past, gone by, that you can only feel the whoosh of wisdom, ideas and reflections going right over your head?

That's sort of how I feel about this book.

It's the sort of feeling when you are reading more or less the way you usually do- a lot of attention here, too little attention there- and all the while you just know in your bones that you'r...more
Jonathan
Very dense. The kind of book that you really need to concentrate on to understand it. Best read in a quiet place. Also, helps if you know French history. Still, very enlightening intellectually.
ΑνναΦ
Enfin, ce l'ho fatta! Un libro splendido e importante, scritto in una prosa da grande letterato. Non solo un excursus culturale a tutto tondo sulla figura del ribelle (si passa da Sade a Rimbaud, i surrealisti, i nichilisti russi, Nietzsche, la Rivoluzione Francese, il Marxismo, alla rivolta nella letteratua e nelle arti figurative), ma una vera rilfessione filosofica sulla rivolta, la sua importanza morale e sociale e la sua differenza ontologica dalla rivoluzione.

Si parla di grazia infranta, d...more
Al Bità
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mohammed Yusuf
كامو في الإنسان المتمرد : كامو هنا ليس روائيا بل شخصية فنية تحتمل عدة أبعاد منها الفيلسوف , الناقد , المحقق , المؤرخ , المحلل السياسي والإقتصادي
الفكرة العامة : يدور الكتاب حول فكرة التمرد .. التي في أصلها إنكار لنوع معين من الظلم والعبودية( أنا أتمرد إذا نحن موجودون ) تسير بالمتمرد إلى إبطال هذه القوة المستبدة عليه وهي تحمل بعدا جماعيا في صورتها البعيدة يلبسها كامو ثوب الما ورائية لإنكار القدسية الإلهية والتحول بها إلى الإلحاد ( وموجودون وحدنا ) وإيجاد ديانة الفرد الإنساني الأوحد في صورة الوجود...more
A.J.
On page 303 of Albert Camus's windy, long-form essay on the nature of rebellion, the failures of religion, Nihilism and Marxism, he approaches the point:

"Man can master in himself everything that should be mastered. He should rectify in creation everything that can be rectified. And after he has done so, children will still die unjustly even in a perfect society. Even by his greatest effort man can only propose to diminish arithmetically the sufferings of the world. But the injustice and the su...more
Leila Hashemi
صفحه به صفحه این کتاب باید خوند و عمیقا بهش فکر کرد.تو این کتاب کامو دیگه مثل قبلا یک داستان روایت نمیکنه،مقاله فلسفی هست در سه بخش عصیانگر متافیزیکی و تاریخی و هنر .تو این کتاب عصیان رو در مقابل نیست انگاری قرار میده و روح عصیانگری رو میبره تو قالب یک انقلابی یک هنرمند و مکتب ها و نظریه های سایر فیلسوف ها رو مورد بحث قرار میده که چطور یک انسان طاغی میتونه با سرکشی و روحیه عصیانگریش آبادی و خرابی به بار بیاره .خیلی جاها تو کتاب مثل قسمت تاریخی و فلسفی واقعا نیاز داره که از قبل با شخصیت ها آشنایی...more
Matthew Quest
Albert Camus's The Rebel is an amazing book. It is not an easy read, thought it begins in an accessible way. Discussing rebellion in historical and philosophical terms, it begins with his existential "all or nothing" premise. That the enslaved or alienated must choose to live.

But then he takes the reader on a journey in the history of philosophy and historical revolutions. In concise anecdotes, covering the French Revolution to the Russian Revolutions, Rousseau, Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Nietzsche, T...more
Keiron Curtis
This is one of the most intellectually demanding, starkly original and enthralling books of any genre, from specialised academic paper to the Anglo-Gaelic-Gallic circumnavigation of Finnegan’s Wake I have ever had privilege to read. A sure sign of its potent impact, its enduring legacy and appeal, I have just realised, requires no more than a cursory glance at the above first sentence, home to my suddenly-developed-therein, reverting to overly-dramatic language. All this in vain tried, in an att...more
Eric
May 04, 2009 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in social change
Recommended to Eric by: ?
Each time I go back to this book, it's as though I never read it. Yes, it does say that the refusal to be complicit in oppression -- one's own or anyone else's -- is a prerequisite to true liberty. It discusses the ultimate futility of the drive to power for its own sake, as exemplified in the thought of the Marquis de Sade -- all ideas that fascinated me upon first reading it and which have stuck with me since. But there's much, much more. . . Good as it reads in the Anthony Bower translation,...more
Wealhtheow
I hated the Stranger, but found the Rebel rather easier to engage with. Perhaps it was the lack of faux-narrative. Perhaps I'm just older and wiser. There are sections here that read more like Wilde than philosophy--more focused on writing cute witticisms than exposing the truth of the world--but it's nevertheless an interesting collection of thoughts. I've found it useful in explaining how non-theists can have a sense of morality, a concept that is strangely difficult for many people of my acqu...more
Brendan
Sep 15, 2007 Brendan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: existentialist philosophy, revolution
i think camus' ambitions far outdistanced his abilities in this work. he's a great novelist, but not really a philosopher. this book seems to be an attempt to place himself alongide of sartre in french philosophy of his time. camus attempts to create a coherent philosophical system to address revolution and it just comes across as ramblings. the book doesn't make much sense and isn't really any good. camus addresses the human condition much more effectively in his novels and the myth of sysyphus...more
Hortense
suppose the young masqueraders with no real memory woke up in their dreams and read off the last page of Camus' essay.

Also, note to oneself: "man" in revolt? female tension. BUT, this was before all that we said good-bye to; all that the last man imagined himself able to restrain himself from. and Camus is so long dead. lame as a Greek god. we can only love him surreptitiously.

So, female in revolt. limping weaponless intruder,

hold hands with each other throughout the night.
Manny

Interesting book, though I also found it challenging to read. I don't know nearly enough about French literature or philosophy. But the basic question he asks is extremely relevant. We hate injustice, and intuitively it seems clearly right to revolt against unjust authority. So why does it nearly always go so wrong when we do so, and end up with an even worse injustice?
Ameera H.  Al-mousa

قراءة , في كيان المتمرد , من يقول : لا ! في وجه واقع الحال, والدين واللاهوت والفكر والسياسية والإيدلوجيا القمعية السائدة , تمرد لاورائي , وقراءة في تمرد الملحدين .

كتاب تعيش معه فترة ظلامية أقتصرت على اليعقوبية والآله القديمة , لم يتنبأ ألبير لتمرد العصور الحديثة .

εδουάρδος
Το δοκίμιο του Camus εκδόθηκε το 1951. Εξήντα τρία χρόνια μετά, διατηρεί ζωντανό τον σφυγμό του. Η κριτική που ασκεί ο Camus στις επαναστατικές επιλογές, που, αδιαφορώντας για την ποδηγέτηση της ελευθερίας του ανθρώπου, κατατείνουν στον ολοκληρωτισμό, είναι οξεία. Υπέρμαχος της ελεύθερης ανθρώπινης υπόστασης, αμφισβητεί την ρητορική ηθικολογία που συγκαλύπτει την πρακτική νομιμοποίηση της βίας, παντί τρόπω. «Ένας σκοπός που προσφεύγει σε άδικα μέσα δεν είναι δίκαιος σκοπός». Απέναντι σε κάθε είδ...more
Jonathon
Jesus, I have never read someone who contradicts himself so much. The rebel actually is the one who wants to be enslaved the most??? What the fuck is this dude talking about?? I get tid bits here and there of this shit, but clearly I am not trained in the art of philosophy; Im trained in the art of being a lazy asshole who bitches about famous books and is jealous because he knows deep down in his dark, withered heart, he will never amount to anything. With this said, I cant stop reading this fu...more
J.
Nov 11, 2008 J. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nerds like me
On metaphysical rebellion...and the only section I have read so far:

Camus' study of the revolting man appropriately begins with man's rebellion against god...or, more accurately, man's rebellion against the notion of god. To Camus, the root of such metaphysical rebellion lies w/ man's growing opposition to the nature of his existence. On the surface, man opposes the existence of suffering and death. Dig a bit deeper and find that, more precisely stated, man opposes meaningless suffering and deat...more
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Free will Vs. determinism 6 30 Dec 05, 2012 01:37AM  
  • Albert Camus: A Life
  • The Reprieve
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
  • Creative Evolution
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • Human, All Too Human
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • The Essential Kierkegaard
  • Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings
  • The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
  • Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy
  • On Revolution
  • Violence
  • Phenomenology of Perception
957894
Albert Camus was an Algerian-born French author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He is often cited as a proponent of existentialism (the philosophy that he was associated with during his own lifetime), but Camus himself rejected this particular label. Specifically, his views contributed to the rise of the more current philosophy known as absurdis...more
More about Albert Camus...
The Stranger The Plague The Fall The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays Exile and the Kingdom

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“Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.” 372 likes
“Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love.” 72 likes
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