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date: 13 June 2024

Camus and Tragedy in Educationlocked

Camus and Tragedy in Educationlocked

  • Andrew GibbonsAndrew GibbonsAuckland University of Technology


Tragedy is a central theme in the work of Albert Camus that speaks to his 46 years of life in “interesting times.” He develops a case for the tragic arts across a series of letters, articles, lectures, short stories, and novels. In arguing for the tragic arts, he reveals an epic understanding of the tensions between individual and world manifest in the momentum of liberalism, humanism, and modernism. The educational qualities of the tragic arts are most explicitly explored in his novel The Plague, in which the proposition that the plague is a teacher engages Camus in an exploration of the grand narratives of progress and freedom, and the intimate depths of ignorance and heroism. In the novel The Outsider Camus explores the tragedy of difference in a society obsessed with the production of a normal citizen. The tragedy manifests the absurdity of the world in which a stranger in this world is compelled to support the system that rejects their subjectivity. In The Myth of Sisyphus Camus produces an essay on absurdity and suicide that toys with the illusion of Progress and the grounds for a well-lived life. Across these texts, and through his collection of letters, articles, and notes, Camus invites an educational imagination. His approach to study of the human condition in and through tragedy offers a narrative to challenge the apparent absence of imagination in educational systems and agendas. Following Camus, the tragic arts offer alternative narratives during the interesting times of viral and environment tragedy.


  • Educational Theories and Philosophies

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