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Albert Camus first shot to the fore in France as a journalist, shortly before World War II, writing for the militant newspaper, Combat, before focusing on more exclusively literary work, with fiction such as The Plague and The Stranger, and a swag of plays. Today, the plays have been almost completely eclipsed by the monumentality of the fiction and the republished and retranslated Combat essays.
Christopher Williams has courageously attempted to redress this situation with translations of two of Camus’ strongest plays, The Misunderstanding and Caligula, both dating from 1944. Although published by a small local press in 2007, both plays have achieved wider national and international audiences, with an acclaimed production of Caligula by Arouet Theatre Company, Seattle and successful readings of both Caligula and The Misunderstanding at the Royal Court Theatre in London and the State Theatre of South Australia. Williams’ versions have been seen as restoring Camus’ project through closely adhering to the French and their noted theatricality of language.