terça-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2014

Carta de Albert Camus a Jean Grenier

Sanatorium du Grand Hôtel Leysin, 
21 de Janeiro [1948] 

 Dear friend, One must get out of Paris to get one’s letters written. It’s stupid but it’s the truth. Lately I have spent time fighting damned nuisances and false obligations in order to work on the dialogues of a production I have just finished for Barrault. Apart from that, I wasn’t capable of anything. And then I fled to Switzerland to see Michel Gallimard and also to begin my play about the Russian terrorists of 1905. To get some rest as well, in spite of, or because of, my hatred for the mountains. 
There was no hesitation on my part regarding Egypt. We were decided, and really happy about the trip. But it seems to me that M. Fort has misinformed you. In fact the Relations Culturelles was unwilling to assign me…Unless I am mistaken, I have the impression they don’t want to send me to an Arab country right now, for reasons you can very well imagine. So they strongly suggested England, Italy, South America, the Scandinavian countries, who knows what else…Since I’m not one to insist (damned pride!), I politely agreed. I regret it and I can’t tell you how much. Europe and its cemeteries disgust me. 
 So…I came to take refuge in the city of sanatoriums. Here I reflect and hope to find a way to leave Paris for good (at least!). 
 Thank you also for what you wrote me about La Poste. But I believe less and less that man is innocent. The thing is, my basic reaction is always to stand up against punishment. After the Liberation I went to see one of those purge trials. The accused was guilty in my eyes. Yet I left the trial before the end because I was with him and I never again went back to a trial of this kind. In every guilty man, there is an innocent part. This is what makes any absolute condemnation revolting. We do not think enough about pain. 
 Man is not innocent and he is not guilty. How to get out of that? What Rieux…means is that we must cure everything we can cure—while waiting to know, or see. It’s a waiting situation and Rieux says, “I don’t know.” I came a long way to reach this admission of ignorance. One begins with a discourse of parricide and comes back to the morality of common men. That’s something to be proud of. 
 At the very least, it seems to me that one must acknowledge it and move on. This is what remains for me to do. And it is then that I will have something less trivial to tell you perhaps. But it’s about solitude and I would like to be sure of my words… 
 In any case, have no doubt about my affectionate thoughts. Sometimes it seems I no longer have anything to say to anyone except to you (and to my mother, with whom I never speak of course). And in everything I intend to do, I would be at quite a loss if I could not turn to you. Write to me in spite of my silence. 

 To you and yours, very affectionately. 

Albert Camus
Correspondences, 1932-1960: Albert Camus and Jean Grenier. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (2003), pp. 111-113.