The French-Algerian author Albert Camus stubbornly rejected characterization, a choice that resonated strongly with his diverse literary abilities. A writer of novels, philosophical treatises, short stories, and plays, he's often grouped with the French existentalists, a label that he himself found inaccurate. Best known for his novel The Stranger, Camus was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature when he was awarded the honor in 1957; two years later, he also died young, in a car accident (he had an unused train ticket in his pocket).
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Camus' passing, Edinburgh Castle is holding a tribute party, with readings of Camus' work by Alan Black, Patrick Burger, and Ivory Madison. Michael Disend and Sadia and Miles Faber will also provide commentary. Camus was a huge soccer enthusiast, so the evening will end with a screening of Zidane, the documentary about the famed French footballer best known for his ill-advised headbutt. Like the author, Zidane is of Algerian descent, and has a keen understanding of the absurd. It should make for the kind of ambiguous ending Camus would have liked.
"Remembering Albert Camus" will be held Saturday, January 9, at 2 pm, at Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary St., Tenderloin. Admission is $10.