"The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. There can be no true goodness, nor true love, without the utmost clear-sightedness..."
FIRST EDITION, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY CAMUS. AN IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION COPY: INSCRIBED BY CAMUS TO FRENCH LITERARY FIGURE JACQUES HÉBERTOT.
Inscribed on half-title: "A Jacques Hébertot / En témoignage d’amitié affectueuse / son obligé / Albert Camus". [To Jacques Hébertot / In testimony of affectionate friendship / His grateful / Albert Camus].
"The longest and most ambitious of his fictions, Albert Camus's novel The Plague is widely regarded as his masterpiece. It is certainly an artistic tour de force: a vividly realistic account of a harrowing imaginary event" (Murray Sachs). “When The Plague was first published in 1947, the majority of French critics greeted it as an allegorical presentation, not only of la condition humaine in general, but also of the particular experience of the German occupation... Yet it would be an extremely limiting interpretation to see in The Plague only the description of a single historical experience. The struggle against plague and occupation are part of a wider struggle, not only against the physical evil inherent in the world, but also against the evil which men, by their blindness and indifference as well as by their cruelty, do to one another” (Philip Thody).
The recipient of this copy, Jacques Hébertot, (1886-1970) was a legendary French theater director, journalist, poet, publisher, and editor. Camus's plays Caligula (1945) and Les Justes (1949) both premiered at Hébertot's highly influential theater, Le Théâtre Hébertot. Upon his death, the French journalist Bertrand Poirot-Delpech, writing in Le Monde, lamented that with the "death of the master", "the theater of the elite no longer exists."
One of 2000 copies of Alfa Navarre. Paris: Gallimard, 1947. Octavo, original wrappers; glassine; custom half-morocco box. Usual browning to outer edges of text and only a hint of wear to wrappers.
A BEAUTIFUL, EXCEPTIONALLY WELL-PRESERVED COPY WITH AN IMPORTANT LITERARY ASSOCIATION.
Price: $11,000 .