A recent trip to the Luberon included a stop in Lourmarin, a charming town to stroll, shop, and café hop, not to mention the final resting place for the French philosopher, Albert Camus.
According to France Today, “Camus’ first visit to the region, in 1937, was brief but in 1946 he came from Paris with three fellow writer friends and actually stayed with them at the Château, in Spartan rooms set far apart which felt spooky at night, his at the bottom of the tower. Armed with the carefree camaraderie and joie de vivre of youth, Camus loved Lourmarin – witness his letter of 1947 to his friend and poet, René Char, who hailed from nearby L’Ile-sur-la- Sorgue: “The region in France that I prefer is yours, more precisely the foot of the Luberon… Lourmarin, etc.” Camus was just 46 on January 4, 1960, when he died near Sens in a car crash on his way to Paris– snatched midlife, as if to stage an ironical metaphor of the absurdity of life which was central to his philosophical preoccupations.”
“L’absurde naît de la confrontation de l’appel humain avec le silence déraisonnable du monde.”
(“The absurd is the product of a collision or confrontation between our human desire for order, meaning, and purpose in life and the blank, indifferent “silence of the universe.”)
Strolling through the town, I witnessed le football fever for “Les Bleus” before a World Cup match, saw many amusing store front novelties, including an American song lyric sung by Jimmy Hendrix, and passed lovely fountains….all in a picturesque backdrop in the heart of Provence.