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Matt Weinstock, Jan. 9, 1960

January 9, 2010 |  4:00 pm


Jan. 9, 1960, Pogo

Albert Camus


Matt Weinstock           Albert Camus, 46, an important man in modern world thinking, was killed in an auto accident near Paris this week and it is appropriate that his most comprehensive obituary here should be in a university paper, the Daily Trojan.

          There, Dr. William S. Snyder, SC philosophy prof. interviewed by Nita Biss, told what Camus, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957, stood for.

          Philosophy is not an easy subject to understand without some basic training but, this being a leisurely Saturday, let’s give it a whirl.

          CAMUS WAS AN EXISTENTIALIST, a rather forbidding word, and his novels, plays and essays were an expression of his philosophy, which holds that the universe is without purpose and man must work out for himself whatever meaning he finds in life.  Many persons, of course, disagree violently with existentialism.

Jan. 9, 1960, Retirement           “Camus, probably better than any other writer,” Dr. Snyder said, “has been able to see through the tangled maze of problems confronting modern man.”

          With other existentialists, Camus found that the traditional methods of philosophy and science offered no solution to man’s search for meanings.  But whereas they, including Jean Paul Sartre, created mythologies as their solutions, Camus concluded, as Dr. Snyder put it, that “The life an individual lives is the life he creates, consciously or unconsciously.”

          It was Camus’ belief, Dr. Snyder added, that the individual had better stop confronting the universe and confront the problems presented him in the life he has to live.

          Too deep?  Well, librarians will tell you that there is a greater interest than ever before in all phases of philosophy.  Besides, I’ve been fascinated by the stuff ever since my UCLA prof. Dr. Barrett, managed years ago to seep a little of it through my skull.

::

          WHAT distinction does it take to get mentioned in the dictionary?  Bill Logan asks friends, “Who was Eugene Aram?”  They don’t know so he takes them to the big book and shows them the biographical entry.  “Aram, Eugene.  1704-1759. Eng. Philologist and murderer.”  So you see, there’s a chance for everyone.

          A SIGN AT an exit at International Airport states, “Sepulveda, a Thinking Man’s Detour.”  Ellen Goldman fears someone has finally flipped over that commercial . . . And a Tarzanan, now that the political propaganda is in full flower, wonders if some of the guff slingers are underestimating the potential of Viceroy smokers.

::

          ONE OF THE railroads finally this week delivered its Christmas gifts, knives from Italy, with the explanation, “American railroads do pretty well at on-time delivery but Italian transportation is beyond their control or calculation.  All we do know is that here they are and that we wish you a happy new year.”

::

                SEASON’S END

Houseguests have ended

                their overlong stay,

The tree, gaunt and brown,

                has been carted away,

Exchanged are the gifts of

                wrong color and size,

Worn once (just to please)

                are the hideous ties.

No turkey is left, not a

                silver or token,

And the final unbreakable

                toy has been broken.

                --RICHARD ARMOUR

::

          FOOTNOTES -- Stan Freberg’s newest venture into satire is a record titled, “The Old Payola Roll Blues.”  Which presents quite a problem to disc jockeys -- to play or not to play . . . Rex Barley caught this description of a piece of furniture on the air:  “It’s made from butternut veneer with pecan solids and brass handles.”  In short, almost good enough to eat . . . Ray Funkhouser overheard a man mix a nasty metaphor thusly in describing a stingy acquaintance:  “He squeezed that buffalo nickel so hard the eagle screams!”



 

   
   
 


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