“Whatever we may do, excess will always keep its place in the heart of man, in the place where solitude is found. We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.”
“What is a rebel? A man who says no, but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. He is also a man who says yes, from the moment he makes his first gesture of rebellion. A slave who has taken orders all his life suddenly decides that he cannot obey some new command.”
“I rebel — therefore we exist.”
FIRST EDITION. AN OUTSTANDING ASSOCIATION COPY: INSCRIBED BY CAMUS TO JEAN PAULHAN, FRENCH CRITIC AND PUBLISHER INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING CAMUS’S WORKS PUBLISHED.
Inscribed on the half-title: “a Jean Paulhan / bien amicalement / Albert Camus”.
The Rebel, more than nine years in the making, “was initially conceived to be a philosophical exploration of what Camus viewed as the ‘first value of the human race’ -- rebellion or revolt, the individual saying no to some condition of existence.
“Even before the publication of The Myth of Sisyphus in 1942, Camus had planned to write a full essay on revolt as part of a second ‘cycle’ of his body of work. But as he jotted notes and fragments over the years, the experiences of war, and of the Resistance in particular, expanded his thinking toward the collective dimensions of rebellion, of what happens when people stand together and say no. The Plague was the novelized version; The Rebel was to be its companion essay” (Carroll, Brave Genius).
An important association copy: As writer, critic, and publisher, Jean Paulhan was one of the leading French intellectuals of the mid-20th century. As the director of Nouvelle Revue Française (NRF), he was instrumental in getting Camus’s works published. Specifically, Paulhan was an early champion of Camus’s L’Etranger; after reading an early copy of the text, he gave it his highest rating and used his influence to convince Gallimard to publish it. (Olivier Todd, Albert Camus).
First edition, “service de presse” copy.
Paris: Gallimard, 1951. Octavo, original wrappers; glassine; housed in beautiful custom slipcase and chemise by Alix. Minor crease on early pages. a few spots of foxing to wrappers. A beautiful copy with an important association.
Price: $5,800 .