Sunday, November 5, 2023

Review of Jonas, or The Artist at Work by Albert Camus

This book review was written by Eugene Kernes   

Book can be found in: 
Genre = Novel
Book Club Event = Book List (06/15/2024)
Intriguing Connections = 1) War for Your Attention, 2) To Cooperate Or To Defect?

Watch Short Review


Is This An Overview?

Jonas’s life has been bound by a belief in luck, that nothing was through merit.  And Jonas has been very lucky in life.  Reflecting how Jonas’s situation came to be, Jonas sees every problem as having given Jonas a favorable situation.  Misfortune with parents earned Jonas a devoted friend, and a job in publishing at which Jonas dabbled in painting.  Painting became a passion that occupied all of Jonas’s attention until an accident that prevented Jonas from plaiting for a time.  As Jonas’s attention was not preoccupied with painting while healing, Jonas was able to notice Louise who would become Jonas’s wife.  Louise is very industrious and would enable Jonas to spend Jonas’s days painting, which eventually enabled Jonas’s work to be discovered.  But as Jonas’s fame rose, Jonas’s attention becomes more divided.  People wanted to talk to Jonas.  Disciples wanted to teach Jonas.  Letters needed to be replied to.  With so much attention being taken, Jonas’s work suffers, friends and family are neglected.  Jonas tries to please everyone, but there is not much Jonas can do with limited time and energy.  How will Jonas decide how to spend attention? 

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?  Why do people read this book?
•What are some limitations of the book?
•To whom would you suggest this book?
•What does Jonas think of others?
•What is Jonas belief system?
•What happened to Jonas parents?
•How did Jonas become an artist?
•How did Jonas meet Louise?
•How did Jonas become famous?
•How did Jonas’s attention become divided? 
•What is the point of disciples? 
•How does Jonas manage attention? 

Book Details
Translator:              Carol Cosman
Original Language: French
Translated Into:       English
Edition:                   First Vintage International Edition
Publisher:               Vintage Books [Random House]
Edition ISBN:         9780307278586
Pages to read:          38
Publication:             2007
1st Edition:              1957
Format:                    Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    4
Content          3
Overall          4