Albert Camus (French pronunciation: [albɛʁ kamy]) (7 November 1913 - 4 January 1960) was a French author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He is often cited as a proponent of existentialism (the philosophy that he was associated with during his own lifetime), but Camus himself refused this particular label. Specifically, his views contributed to the rise of the more current philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay The Rebel that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom.
In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which (according to the book Albert Camus, une vie by Olivier Todd) was a group opposed to some tendencies of the surrealistic movement of André Breton. Camus was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature (after Rudyard Kipling) when he became the first Africa-born writer to receive the award, in 1957. He is also the shortest-lived of any literature laureate to date, having died in an automobile accident just over two years after receiving the award.
Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (October 3, 1925 - July 31, 2012) was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He was also known for his patrician manner and witty aphorisms. Vidal's grandfather was the U.S. Senator Thomas Gore of Oklahoma.
Vidal was a lifelong Democrat; he ran for political office twice and was a longtime political commentator. As well known for his essays as his novels, Vidal wrote for The Nation, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and Esquire. Through his essays and media appearances, Vidal was a longtime critic of American foreign policy. In addition to this, he characterized the United States as a decaying empire from the 1980s onwards. He was also known for his well-publicized spats with such figures as Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Truman Capote.