A Happy Death cover



A Happy Death


A Happy Death (original title La mort heureuse) is a novel by Absurdist French writer-philosopher Albert Camus. The existentialist topic of the book is the "will to happiness," the conscious creation of one's happiness, and the need of time (and money) to do so. It draws on memories of the author including his job at the maritime commission in Algiers, his suffering from tuberculosis, and his travels in Europe. Camus composed and reworked the novel between 1936 and 1938 but then decided not to publish it. It was eventually published in 1971, over 11 years after the author's death. The English translation by Richard Howard appeared in 1972. A Happy Death was Camus' first novel and was clearly the precursor to his most famous work, The Stranger, published in 1942. The main character in A Happy Death is named "Patrice Mersault", similar to The Stranger's "Meursault"; both are French Algerian court clerks who kill another man. A Happy Death is written in the third person, whereas The Stranger is written in the first person. The novel has just over 100 pages and consists of two parts.
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original title: La mort heureuse
language: French
date of publication: 1971
genre: novel

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