Re-reading Camus’s ‘The Plague’ in pandemic times

 

Albert’s Camus’s famous 1947 novel ‘The Plague’ has now come to the attention of a new generation of readers – those who draw parallels between Camus’s depictions of disease-ridden Algeria and the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently living through. It is the story of placid everyday lives that are suddenly, brutally disrupted by a virus: an existential reminder of the arbitrariness of life and the certainty and randomness of death. In this podcast, Dr Raj Persaud talks to the author of ‘A Very Short Introduction’ to Camus, Dr Oliver Gloag, about the impact this writer could have on our outlook and behaviour during these challenging times.


 

Date published: 29 May 2020

Presenter: Dr Raj Persaud

Interviewee: Dr Oliver Gloag

Audio running time: 48 minutes

Credits: 0.5

 

Learning outcomes

 

By the end of this podcast, we hope you will have gained an understanding of:

 

  • the parallels between Camus's depiction of an Algerian plague and the current COVID-19 pandemic

 

  • Camus's philosophical viewpoint as portrayed in this novel

 

  • inspiration that can be taken from this now very relevant book.

 

 

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If you like this podcast, you may also be interested in the following:

 

Podcast Psychosocial response to epidemics – lessons from Ebola applied to COVID-19 with Dr Peter Hughes

 

Podcast The psychology of the virus ‘super-spreader’ with Dr Susan Campbell Bartoletti

 

Podcast The psychology and psychiatry of pandemics with Professor Steven Taylor

© 2020 Royal College of Psychiatrists