Enemy of the Disaster is the first authorized translation to appear in English of Renaud Camus' political writings and includes his notorious 2010 speech, "The Great Replacement." Though forty-two years have passed since his work was last translated into English, Camus is endlessly and irresponsibly discussed in the media, his vast and complex oeuvre reduced to a single phrase devoid of all context. In the English-speaking world, at least, he is the opposite of an author; he is a floating signifier, a rumor, an element in someone else's narrative.
This volume aims to change that. Spanning the years 2007-2017, its ten chapters present a very different Camus, one freed from the opportunistic glosses of “friend” and foe alike. Instead of a conspiracy theorist, the reader discovers a committed opponent of conspiratorial thinking of all kinds. Instead of a proponent of rightwing terrorism, one discovers the founder of a political party devoted to the promotion of civic peace. Above all, one discovers in Camus a man of culture, of the high European culture that he sees everywhere in retreat amid a generalized debasement of humanity.
The book opens with a critical Introduction by its editor, Professor Louis Betty of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Betty seeks to free Camus from the various polemical misrepresentations to which he has been subjected in order to situate him in the context of recent French debates concerning immigration and identity, debates that have only become more intense since Camus first entered the fray. Each chapter is thoroughly annotated to help non-French readers better navigate what might be unfamiliar references.
Enemy of the Disaster will prove a precious resource to any serious student of contemporary France. The issues it addresses, however - issues, not just of immigration and identity, but of culture, education, and the future of humanity itself - resonate well beyond the French context. These are issues with which we all, sooner or later, will need to reckon. By showing us what we have so blithely abandoned in our mad embrace of an increasingly posthuman future, Renaud Camus helps us do just that
A native of Chamalières in the Auvergne region of central France, Renaud Camus (b. 1946) is one of France’s most brilliant stylists and the author of more than 150 books. Tricks, his first and only work to be translated into English until now, appeared in 1979 and was prefaced by Roland Barthes, one of twentieth-century France’s greatest literary critics and Camus’ mentor. In addition to the political essays collected in Enemy of the Disaster, Camus is also known for works of fiction, philosophy, travel writing, art criticism, and the extensive diary he has kept and published for over forty years. He lives in the Chateau de Plieux in the village of Plieux in southwestern France and is the president of a small political party, the Party of In-nocence, which advocates immigration and education reform and the promotion of civic peace.
Louis Betty is Associate Professor of French at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to his work on Renaud Camus, he is also the author of Without God: Michel Houellebecq and Materialist Horror (Penn State Press, 2016) as well as numerous scholarly articles. He received his PhD from Vanderbilt University in 2011 and lives in Madison, WI.
Ethan Rundell is a translator, journalist, and alumnus of UC, Berkeley, and Paris' School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). Rundell has translated over a dozen books as well as scores of academic articles. He lives in North Carolina.
“A Cassandra for the decadent West, Camus sees and says what so many work so hard to hide. Not only is he a truth-teller, but he's also a brilliant stylist. His prose cascades forward with a silk-lined urgency that would make Tom Wolfe jealous. Without doubt one of the most brilliant polemicists of our era.” - R.R. Reno
“At last, English-speaking readers can find out for themselves why Renaud Camus is so hated among French elites. We discover in these pages an honest man who refuses to be silent in the face of civilizational suicide.” - Rod Dreher
“This is an elegant translation of a graceful French stylist, who makes provocative points with great care. The judicious introduction to this volume helps give a context to Camus’ thoughts about the state of cultural and political affairs in France and Western Europe.” - Paul Gottfried
“The Great Replacement is neither a fantasy nor a conspiracy; it is the historical drama of our time.” - Éric Zemmour