By Mathias Delori
Controversies upon Camus’s relationship to violence mainly concerned his writings on “terrorism”. This article contributes to these debates in focusing on the Letters to a German Friend. These texts, written between 1943 and 1944, when the author participated in the Resistance, reveal an original Camus who emphasizes that violence constitutes a moral problem but requires unambiguously the “destruction” of the enemy. The word is all the more powerful as Germany is literally being destroyed under the Allies’ bombings. This tension between criticizing violence and consenting to it leads Camus to identify several mechanisms of what political scientists call the “rising to extremes”.
Littérature 199 (3), 2020