Those that follow are a number of reflections inspired by Michel Onfray’s newly released L’Ordre libertaire. La vie philosophique d’Albert Camus (Flammarion, Paris, 2012). Coming after the two magisterial biographies by Herbert R. Lottman e di Olivier Todd, Onfray’s 600-page long biographical has the merit of subverting all traditional approaches to one of the most important and stimulating intellectual presences of the twentieth century. It was no coincidence that in France it raised such controversies. Debates have centred mostly on the fact that Onfray, on the eve of Camus’s centenary in 2013, has selected philosophy as the terrain of choice for a new interpretation of the author of The Stranger and The Plague. In doing so, he goes against the mainstream tradition by defining Camus as a «leftist Nietzschean ». In particular, he rejects the attacks levelled at Camus by Sartre and his disciples, and traces in Camus’s writing an existential - rather than existentialist - philosophy which is basically a cosmopolitan ethics founded on an intercultural dialogue and on a defence of human rights. Camus’s opus (novels, essays, dramatic works, journalistic pieces, speeches, notebooks, fragments) witness the engagement shown by this libertarian hedonist, this anarchistic and anti-colonialist who opposed all totalitarianisms - a position he owed to the radiant morality which, he felt, derived from his being «an African of the North».
Keywords: Albert Camus, Michel Onfray, biography, anti-colonialism, ethics, cosmopolitanism