[This essay was originally published in Humanist in Canada, Winter 1984/85, Volume 17, Number 4. Copyright by Bob Lane 2002, 2004. Also available here for kids!! And the essay has been copied in numerous places.]
This article honours Albert Camus on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death. His life span, from 1913 to 1960, covered a time which might aptly be named the disgrace of the western world. He was born in French Algeria and grew up in a working people’s district of Algiers. When he was just seven months old his father was killed in the battle of the Marne of the first World War, and his mother, who could not read or write, supported her children by housecleaning.
There were no books in his house – not even a magazine or newspaper – yet as a child in school the boy commanded the attention of his class when he spoke. At seven, he later told a friend, he wanted to be a writer, and at twenty-four he came to realize that his real work was to create books out of the life he was living. In his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 1957 he said that, “the writer’s function is not without arduous duties. By definition he cannot serve today those who make history; he must serve those who are subject to it.”
Albert Camus, an agnostic, was active in the resistance movement in France during the second World War. Thereafter his eloquence and honesty made his the conscience of his generation. Unable to express himself optimistically as to any future he could foresee, Camus was charged with pessimism by advocates of the two great systems of his time, Communism and Christianity. He replied that in a world without meaning he had faith in human values.
Tell Me A Story: a talk for the Unitarian Society of Nanaimo.
By Bob Lane
In monasteries, seminaries,
retreats and synagogues,
they fear hell
and seek paradise.
Those who know
the mysteries of Life
never let that seed
be planted in their souls.
A lecture for The Institute of Renaissance Studies:
Several years ago now some of our family, including my four grandsons, went to Ashland, Oregon, to the Shakespeare Festival. I had been invited to give a talk for the Institute of Renaissance Studies on one of the plays, Julius Caesar. The grand-kids attended the lecture and were a part of an attentive crowd. Mostly though they enjoyed seeing the production of the play!
June 4, 2008 – 4:30am
When Robert D. Lane retired from Malaspina University-College, his former students started the S.O.B. club – Students of Bob, to honour their former professor and carry on some of the discussions his lectures and teachings had inspired.
Now, after almost 40 years of outstanding service to Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University) all the S.O.B.’s can celebrate because their former professor and mentor will be recognized with the Outstanding Service Award at the convocation ceremony on Tuesday, June 3.
For the Lane family of Nanaimo, a love of learning must be genetic.
Three generations – grandfather, father and son – participated in Malaspina University-College’s graduation ceremony at The Port Theatre recently.
The youngest Lane, 24-year-old Erik, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. His father, Steve Lane, an English and Media Studies professor, and grandfather, Bob Lane, a retired Philosophy professor, watched proudly from on stage.
what-about-bob? – PDF document.
by Ian Johnston
“I can remember the first meeting of the committee, when Chairman Bob began the proceedings by demanding, first and foremost, a scrupulous attention to the facts. Now, that, I thought, seems like an eminently sensible way to proceed.”