Exile and the Kingdom
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Exile and the Kingdom

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  4,840 ratings  ·  183 reviews
These works of fiction cover the whole variety of existentialism, or absurdism, as Camus himself insisted his philosophical ideas be called. The clearest manifestation of his ideals can be found in "La Pierre qui pousse." This story features D'Arrast, who can be seen as a positive hero as opposed to Meursault in The Stranger. He actively shapes his life & sacrifices hi...more
Paperback, 213 pages
Published 1995 by Quality Paperback Book Club (first published 1957)
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Michael
In "An Experiment in Criticism", Lewis argues that the only way to truly understand a book the reader must surrender to it and to the author's vision. This can be fairly easy when the reader and the author are coming from similar worldviews, but not when they are meeting head on from opposite ends of the spectrum. This is the challenge I face when reading Camus. Our worldviews are so different that reading his work is an exhausting experience. It is a constant struggle to surrender to his vision...more
Jim
Sep 08, 2007 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Those of us who like to read in between the lines.
Exile and the Kingdom consists of half a dozen short stories. Like Camus’s famous novel, each story deals with an outsider.

The first story presents us with the titular ‘Adulterous Woman’ but nowhere in the story does it suggest that she has – or indeed intends to – be unfaithful to her husband but she does give herself over to a moment, an experience; it is quite a compelling little character study.

The second story, ‘The Renegade’ is the only one I remembered anything of from the first time I r...more
Nawel
L'Exil et le Royaume et le malaise de l'être.


L'Exil et le Royaume est un recueil de six nouvelles, publié en 1957 (Il n’est pas arrivé très souvent à Camus d’écrire des nouvelles), Succédant à La Chute (1956), cette œuvre serait donc la dernière publiée de son vivant-je préfère toujours plonger dans l'œuvre camusienne selon son ordre chronologique, ça me fournit quelques indications sur l’évolution de l'auteur!


Le recueil est donc composé de six nouvelles: La Femme adultère, Le Renégat ou un espr...more
Shauna
My somewhat low rating is owing only to the fact that these are short stories...getting into Camus this way is a little like being woken up from a deep sleep every hour, on the hour; these stories just can't hold the force of his longer works like "The Plague," "The First Man" or even "The Fall."

He's saved his talent (just my opinion) for the final two. In "Jonas, or the Artist at Work," a painter finds himself unable to create once he has fame, friends and generally an abundance of people aroun...more
Scarlet
So I start reading this book and I’m like “oh this is nice, let me put my Casa Blance lens on.” I am happily reading along, when all of a sudden, I’m like:

wait!



What-the-cluster-fuck?!

How did I get here?

And it is not just the first short story; it all of them! I had to read it once, twice, and then go back and review and try to understand and read between the lines.

So check it, in my opinion, all the stories have to be taken as one ongoing theme: An individual who finds himself displaced in...more
Erik Graff
Jan 08, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Camus fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
Albert Camus had an immense influence on me during adolescence. This is strange in that nowadays I don't think he would have much impact. At that time, however, I recognized my apprehensions articulated in his voice and in the voices of some of his characters, particularly the doctor in The Plague.

In the sixties one heard about Camus everywhere. My first direct exposure was the typical one: The Stranger was assigned reading for an English class. Intrigued by that and by what I heard from the tea...more
Marty
I read The Plague, but I couldn't find that book listed on its own. It's a great book that had a profound effect on me in college. It was the first book I "had to read" in a literature class. I was so innocent, and this book opened my eyes to pain, suffering, death, tragedy... real life! I went on to be an English major. This book may have turned me in that direction.
Caitlin
I like Camus, after my second exposure. This is a collection of short stories, some of which (as always) are a bit better than others. I only give this four stars because I had a little difficulty figuring out how one of the stories fit with the other five. "The Renegade or a Confused Spirit" grated a little for me because it was written in such a different style from the other stories. It felt a little longer than it needed to be to me, but it was compelling nonetheless.

I don't enjoy putting wr...more
Rozzer
Le Renegat. For me, Le Renegat IS L'exil et le royaume. It's remained stuck in my mind for half a century, the recollection refreshed every so often by another read-through of the story. It fascinates me, and for the greater part of my life I didn't know why I was fascinated. I've now understood why and shall tell you why in this review. It may sound like a stretch, but I assure you that it's indeed the truth, the actuality.

Le Renegat is a story of torture and abasement, of brain-washing and Sto...more
William Thomas
honestly, it kills me to give anythign by camus only three stars, but three of the six stories were practically worthless. they read like instructions, like cooking instructions "then he did this, then he did that, then this happened". the other three stories were beautiful, the renegade and the adulterous woman especially, so feverish, so longing and wanting. they conveyed the message of the book, fighting against nature and other men and themselves, trying hard to find peace within where it ca...more
Kyle
It is absolutely amazing what a fantastic writer Camus was. Each story in the collection was beautifully crafted with vivid depictions and imagery, foreboding tone, and vulnerably corrupted characters. For me, each seemed to start a bit slow but had me entranced by the third or fourth page.

My two favorites were "The Renegade" and "The Artist at Work." In the first, it is literally difficult to read with the depictions of torture, rape, captivity, thirst, and Stockholm syndrome. A truly grueling...more
Samir Rawas Sarayji
I expected the stories here to be more... intimate, for lack of a better word. Instead, the stories had detached narrators and the camera view was too distant from the protagonists in each story for me to sympathize with any of them. While the descriptions and details were beautiful, there was an excess of narrative compared to dialogue and action - basically lots of telling. I've only read one of Camus' novels previously but I have a hunch he's a brilliant novelist but not necessarily so as a s...more
Le Matt
Two words come to mind as I turn the final pages of this wonderful collection: Breathless, breathtaking. Perhaps they are the same.

There is an animal, elemental intensity at play here as Camus once again cements his position not only as an intellectual giant but also as one of the greatest fiction writers. He melds exotic settings with displaced characters in stories that take your breath away, stories that haunt and linger and leave you clamoring for air like a fish on dry shore. The Renegade,...more
blake
I love Camus (The Stranger, The Plague and The Fall, in that order), but this one left me unimpressed. "The Adulterous Woman" felt like a less vivid version of the already-too-depressing The Sheltering Sky, and "The Renegade" was almost incomprehensible. I liked the last four stories more, with "The Guest" and "The Artist at Work" being my favorites, but they were still pretty hollow reading experiences. Granted, the subject matter is as bleak as Camus's worldview, but all of his other fictional...more
Tej
Personaly I love Camus and this flavour of writing. . . The writing, which is for its own sake. . . Pure, artistic and honest. . . Each story is like a painting that etches itself permanently n vividly in one's memory. . . The setting is so important as are the characters with their conscientious n existential struggles, their paradoxes n dilemas, that are too real and near to one's ownself rendering these characters unforgettable. . . The open end is always amenable to one's own interpretation...more
Kandileone
These are six short stories following the path of strangers (as expected of Camus)in Algeria, France, Mali and Brazil. Overall I was bewitched and lost in the subtle meanings each of them carried, and Camus truly allows you to get lost in concepts you formulate or perceive by yourself.

My favorite chapter was the first "The Adulterous Woman" because this is the first time I read something Camus narrates in the voice of a woman, which gave the story a new exquisite taste.
The ending was rather enig...more
Timmy
In places, these six stories contain some of Camus' more literary writing. Unfortunately, I find that most do not develop much tension or suspense, and even the stories that begin with promise seem to drown in flatness shortly thereafter. The lone exception for me was "The Guest" which does succeed at hammering in some emotional nails into the reader.

It's also interesting to see how various forms of "tribalism" and "paganism" take center stage in several different stories as characters search f...more
Mike
This collection of short stories is now my favorite work by Camus, behind only The Plague. Each story is beautifully written and brilliantly concise, where every sentence has weight to it and conveys stirring imagery or deep emotion, as if the author could not spare a single word to excess. The stories vary in subject yet all have the common theme of a protagonist's moral ambivalence when faced with some form of injustice or existential quandary. As one would expect, there is no using Occam's ra...more
Sara Kaddouri
en lisant ce roman , je me suis dite que c'est albert camus quand même, sois patiente il doit y avoir quelque chose de special au fur et à mesure de ma lecture , mais non rien de rien , j'ai terminé la 1 ere nouvelle ,sans avoir cette envie de continuer , j'ai commencé la 2 eme et presque à la fin de la 2 eme nouvelle. j'ai decidé que je ne peux pas continuer à le lire ça m'a torturé mais ce n'est pas du tout mon albert camus . Deçue je l'ai rendu à la meditheque ce matin.
Mais mainenant, et par...more
Aisha Shukry
جميلة روايات هذا الرجل، يفهم في النفس البشرية كثيرا.. على الأقل كان يتماهى مع بعض ما مرّ بخيالي..

غير أن في هذه الرواية و في رواية الغريب أيضا نفس عنصري بغيض.. يبدو أنه لا يطيق العرب، في حكاياته هم دائما رثّو الثياب و الهيئة، يفقدون القيم الأخلاقية.. و في أقل الظروف هم أصحاب اليد الدنيا و دائما..
أضف لهم الأفارقة و الخلاسيّون و كل من هم ليسوا من اصحاب الدم الأزرق
طبعا، لم أقل شيئا عندما قرأت الغريب كوني لم أسمع أحدا يقول هذا، لكنني وجدت تحليلات لكتاباته و تضيف لهم النساء في كتابات أخرى ..
تقييمي هو...more
Eva
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hollis
If you ask a regular reader of literature what books they associate with the name Albert Camus they will probably come up with the famous novels like 'The Plague' and 'The Outsider'. They probably won't associate Camus with short stories which is a shame because I think they are well worth reading (especially if you like his novels, because the themes are similar).
Joe
This book holds its theme very well across a diverse variety of characters and settings, as it declares a universal bond between all those who feel their soul does not fit into the place where it was born. They culminate in the final, cathartic story, The Growing Stone, where one of these lone travelers is at last welcomed home, if only for a moment.
Dale Pobega
I first read Albert Camus' "L'Hôte" as a sixteen year old and struggled with the French. Amongst a lot else, I was confused by the title which my dictionary told me could variously mean "guest" or "host". On my second reading - three and a half decades later - I came across an anecdote related to the translation of the story:


"When Justin O’Brien was translating “L’Hôte”, he wrote to Camus asking whether to use the title “The Host” or “The Guest”. Camus opted for the latter but added that it was...more
Patrick
This is why I don't like riding in cars.
Raymond Thomas
I'm at a bit of loss on how to discuss Camus, but I shall address his stories in the order that they appear.

There are many parts of The Plague that hold great promise for an interesting novel and even an interesting reflection on the philosophies and nature of man, however a lot of it gets lost in the pages upon pages of philosophical discourse that break up the actual characterizations and plot. I still enjoyed the story but there were moments where it just got bogged down attempting to explai...more
Tim
Albert Camus’s existentialism is sometimes described as having more hope than some of his other contemporaries. One thing is certain, Camus has a way of presenting real life that causes the reader to become AWARE. By aware, I mean aware of where they are while reading Camus; aware of their own vision of life; aware of their individual mindset in relation to Camus. The author has a way of presenting life at its most raw and foundational level. My own mindset caused me to look at how the role of b...more
Edward
I read Camus' "L'exil et le Royaume" during my recuperation from my knee surgery in the waning days of 2008. It is a collection of six short stories translated from the French by Justin O'Brien. Not all seemed to have a common connection in terms of Camus' existentialist point of view. I consider The Adulterous Woman, The Renegade, and the Guest to be the best in order of communicating this point of view whereas the remaining three; The Artist at Work, The Growing Stone, and The Silent Men seeme...more
Perry Whitford
Six short stories by Absurdist philosopher Camus centering around the choices made by individuals when they come to realize that life is meaningless, which exiles them from the rest of humanity, their family, friends, colleagues and all the considerations of society.
Below is a short synopsis of essence of each story:

The Adulterous Woman: a woman married for more than twenty years to a businessman joins him on a sales trip amongst Arab customers. Whilst staring at the desert from a parapet she h...more
Mark Stuart
I enjoyed Exile and the Kingdom least of all of Camus's works. It consists of 6 short stories rendered as parables, the lessons of which are not always entirely clear -- at least to me. Of the six stories there a few gems that left a lasting impression on me: "The Adulterous Woman" ("La Femme adultère"), "The Guest" ("L'Hôte") and "The Silent Men" ("Les Muets"). If I had to pick a favourite it would be "The Adulterous Woman" for the effortless way Camus managed to convey the compulsions of a wom...more
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Which of Camus' stories is your favorite? 4 29 Jun 27, 2012 04:50AM  
  • The Reprieve
  • Albert Camus: A Life
  • Three Tales
  • Man's Fate
  • Castle to Castle
  • Dial M for Monkey
  • Collected Stories, 1939-1976
  • Les caves du Vatican
  • The Horseman on the Roof
  • Les caractères
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • Le Barbier de Séville, ou La Précaution inutile
  • The Persian Letters
957894
Albert Camus was an Algerian-born 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 rejected this particular label. Specifically, his views contributed to the rise of the more current philosophy known as absurdis...more
More about Albert Camus...
The Stranger The Plague The Fall The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

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“Not a breath, not a sound—except at intervals the muffled crackling of stones that the cold was reducing to sand—disturbed the solitude and silence surrounding Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained towards the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans. The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth.” 12 likes
“every night, when he didn't want to be alone, or to age or die, with that set expression he assumed which she occasionally recognized on other men's faces, the only common expression of those madmen hiding under an appearance of wisdom until the madness seizes them and hurls them desperately toward a woman's body to bury in it, without desire, everything terrifying that solitude and night reveals to them.” 5 likes
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