By Peter. NORRISH
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Extra resources for New Tragedy and Comedy in France 1945–70
Antigone 'becomes herself' Gust as Giraudoux's Electre had 'declared herself')and in doing so utterly rejects and condemns the modus vivendi of the society which she is being urged to go on living in and to enjoy. She delivers a scathing indictment of its priorities and its values. She has no time for its hypocrisy and its tyranny and its compromise. She-wants a life with a different attitude to living, or no life at all. This applies in particular to her relationship with Hernon, Creon's son, to whom she is engaged to be married.
The date Camus gives, according to the Pleiade edition, is 1941. 'Preface aI'emtion americaine do theatre', in ThiiIre, ,mis, nouvelles d'Albert Camus (paris, GaIlimard, Bibliotheque de la Pleiade, 1962) p. 1728. Thismust be a mistake for 1942, wheI\ in August, he left Oren, being very ill with tuberculosis (probably the main cause of his intense depression) with permission to live in the MassifCentral Biographers claim that Camus spent the whole of 1941 (from some time in january) and more than half of 1942 in Oran, leaving there only to spend time in Algiers.
Thus, in his own Morts sans sepulture (The Victors or Men withoutShadows, 1946), he says he tried to combine familiar speech with extreme conciseness of statement using ellipses, brusque interruptions and a sort of inner tension in the phrases which set them apart from the easy-going sound of everyday talk. He compares this with the style adopted by Camus in Caligula, saying that it is different in kind but is 'magnificently sober and taut'. He believed New Tragedy and Comedy in France 34 that the age of the atomic bomb was appropriate for the revival of tragedy, and wondered whether it was possible to create tragedy which would 'purge us of our misfortunes'.