philosophical syntheses, whether Hegelian or Sartrean. Camus defended mankind, not History (revolutions are its tyrannical exemplars), and his clashes with Jean-Paul Sartre and Francis Jeanson are manifestations of this fundamental difference. Sartre stressed ideology whereas Camus refused 116 / French Forum/Spring 2001/Vol. 26 No. 2 to sacrifice men and women to the consuming moloch of History. In Les Temps Modernes Jeanson dismissed the ideas in L'Homme révolté as inefficacious, and Sartre wrote that Camus was the victim of a "morne démesure," thereby transforming the balance and harmony of "la pensée de midi" into its opposite. As Gay-Crosier astutely observes, Camus' "mesure méditerranéenne," under Sartre's pen, became a "démesure intellectuelle et morale." However, the apparent negation of the rebel's "no" becomes the "yes" of a collective cogito. "I rebel therefore we are" transcends the solipsism of its Cartesian premise in order to affirm the solidarity of mankind. This affirmative value echoes from essay to essay as Gay-Crosier defines "la pensée de midi" in its multifarious aspects, whether he is discussing the play Caligula, Georges Bataille, Le Premier Homme, or European culture, always emphasizing the fact that "la pensée grecque s'est toujours retranchée sur l'idée de limite." That and Camus'
French Forum – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 1, 2001
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