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Albert Camus and the Balearic Islands

Albert Camus, French novelist and dramatist, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Camus was born in Algeria from a French father and a mother of Spanish descent. The mother and the maternal grandmother both were from Menorca, our neighbouring island. Apparently, Camus visited Menorca to connect with his mother’s and grandmother’s roots. Camus also visited Mallorca, where he met his first wife, Simone Hié, then a morphine addict. His stay in Palma in 1935 is captured in the chapter Love of life from his book The Wrong Side and the Right Side. Interesting reading, I would have thought.

If you felt like it, you could retrace Camus’ steps in Palma de Mallorca with a copy of this text in hand, next time the opportunity arises.

In Carrer Llotgeta, you could visit the Bar Flexas. This is not the bar which Camus describes, but there you can see details of a typical bar in Palma’s historic centre around the 1930’s and 40’s.
In Plaça Santa Eulàlia, Carrer Morey and Carrer d’Almudaina, you can see Can Oleo and Can Bordills, both of them possible examples of the courtyards that Camus describes. Keep going until you reach the Cathedral.
La Seu (the Cathedral) is described by Camus in the first of his Notebooks with the comment “bad taste and master workmanship”. I suggest you enter the Cathedral and admire the reform carried out under Antonio Gaudí’s orders, undervalued and harshly criticized at the time.
Return through the narrow streets behind La Seu towards Plaça Sant Francesc and enter the stunning cloisters of the Església de Sant Francesc there.

Enjoy.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 30th, 2010. The time was 17:54:59.

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