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Albert Camus’ 1942 classic. Here are the opening lines: “Mother died today Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW. DEEP SYMPATHY.” A telegram, not a personal phone call or someone on staff from the old people’s home actually making the hour trip in person to inform her only son, but a terse three line businesslike telegram – cold, insensitive, almost callous; a telling sign of the mechanized times.
Then first-person narrat ...more
بدأ لدي خلال السنوات الأخيرة هاجس قرائي مقلق، نوع من الشعور بالنقص كلما مر أمامي عنوان مشهور لم اقرأه بعد، فمن روايات دستويفسكي التي جمعتها ولكني لم اقرأ منها إلا كتاباً واحداً، إلى كافكا وشتاينبك وتشيخوف وغيرهم ممن لم اقرأ لهم شيئاً أو قرأت عملاً وحيداً، وهذا بسبب أن مرحلة القراءة الجوهرية لدي – الثانوية والجامعة – كانت فقيرة، فالمكتبات لدينا في الرياض كانت لا تعرض إلا النادر من الكتب في التسعينات وبدايات الألفية، كما أنني كنت حينها بلا خارطة قرائية، فلا مكتبة في المنزل، ولا قارئ مهتم في ...more
"The Stranger" dramatises the issues at the heart of existentialism.
The same issues are probably at the heart of life, whether or not you believe in a god.
It's interesting that there has been a crime and now Meursault is being "judged".
The judgement is symbolic not only of the justice system, but of God's judgement of humanity.
You would normally expect the defendant to assert their innocence or plead not guilty in the criminal justice system (cue Law and ...more
الحياة لا تساوى أي عناء
هذا هو الشعار الأعظم لفلسفة اللامبالاة
تلك الفلسفة التي يتمسك بعضنا بها كطوق نجاة أخير
تلك الفلسفة التي أتمسك أنا بها كطوق نجاة أخير
لا يعرف أبدا أي بشري هذه الفلسفة حتى يتألم ألما عظيما
إما أن يقضي عليه
وإما يعيد بعثه من جديد
وميرسو هنا وضعه مختلف
إننا لا نعرف ما الذي أصابه ليصير هكذا
إنه يحمل كل أوجاع البشرية وكل سؤال أطلقه الانسان في الفراغ
ربما لم يصبه شيء
ربما ولد كبش فداء
ربما جاء إلى هذا العالم ليفعل ما لم يجرؤ ا ...more
Even if we exist in a world devoid of meaning, why is it that our actions still bear so much weight? The crime and punishment of Nobel Prize winning author Albert Camus’ academically canonized The Stranger depicts the ironies of enforcing meaning in a void and the absurdities that surround us as humans walking towards the same cold, lifeless fate. ‘Since we're all going to die,’ writes narrator Meursault, ‘it's obvious that when ...more
Ένας κοινωνικά αντισυμβατικός και αντιφατικός άνθρωπος, που αφενός ζει και απολαμβάνει την καθημερινή ρουτίνα του χωρίς καμία αλλαγή και παράλληλα ειναι ένας άψογος εργαζόμενος που τηρεί ωράρια,πρωτόκολλα-εργασιακούς κανόνες και τυπικές κοινωνικές σ ...more
The prose of Camus is very simple and eloquent, and is a pleasure to read, but he raises some philosophical questions a layer beneath his beautifully crafted novella which leaves ...more
I cannot help comparing the hollowness, the emptiness in Meursault’s soul to the soldier in Hemingway’s short story “Soldier's Home”. But in that story, Hemingway describes a change from the war and his reactions are connected with his recent martial experiences.
Camus makes no mention of Meursault’s past experience, his emptiness is fundamental to his soul, and his reaction is to the world in general. Camus introdu ...more
Fortunately, since Goodreads has instilled in me the need to take notes on, emphatically underline passages from and analyze the pants off every book I read thes ...more
Camus describes Meursault, the main character, only sparingly; and for the majority of the n ...more
Firstly, Sandra Smith’s work is excellent. I have read all four English translations of L’Étranger that I am aware of (Stuart Gilbert, Joseph Laredo, and Matthew Ward being the other three. If you know of another, please let me know…) at least ...more
Albert Camus brilliantly introduces the indifference of the world towards its inhabitants through the title character, Meursault's withdrawal from his surrounding society. Meursault, devoid of ordinary sentiments, is tri ...more
If you get around to reading this surprisingly short novel, don't do so with the wrong expectations. In a more common book, the plot would leave much to be desired; and Camus doesn't invent characters you care suc ...more
El extranjero es una mirada punzante al absurdo existencial a través de un extraño en propia tierra que, indiferente, niega su ser a fin de que la muerte sea algo ya contemplado. Una manera de afrontar el misterio de un más allá sin significado y una vida apática que no es más que un lento suicidio.
Camus explora en la impasibilidad, en la neutralidad de un protagonista con una angustia concentrada que se mani ...more
Albert Camus rightly deserves his place in history as a Nobel Laureate and the following statement made in 1957 when he was awarded this prize in Literature says it all:
“For his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times".
The tragedy of it all is that three years later he will be killed in a car accident in France and “In his briefcase was the incomplete first draft of a new book, Le Premier Homme (The First M ...more
The eye-catching front along with back cover of the copy of "The Stranger" (aka "The Outsider") which I read in 1999.
I FOUND the book to be a lot more different than anything else I have ever read. Its opening line: "Mother died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know." Then Albert Camus goes on to describe Mersault's feelings regarding his mother's death. But surprisingly he has none. One is shocked at reading this and finds Camus's hero or rather anti-hero to be absolutely strange or rather a ...more
Strange, emotionally damaged man, lacking in affect and with an ambiguous attitude to religion, falls into bad company and ends up shooting an Arab for reasons that aren't clear even to himself. It was hot, and he wasn't thinking straight.
Now why would George W Bush not merely read this shortly after the Iraq War, but go to some lengths to let the world know he had done so? A minor literary mystery that will perhaps never be fully resolved. Personally, I think Laura had something to do with it.
Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends
Then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is--Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
I hear the people singing, so it must be Christmas time
So here it is, Christmas night, 2015. And I have been reading Albert Camus rather than Charles Dickens. I have completed The Stranger rather than A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings or The Gift of the Magi.
Still 5 stars. Still my favorite book.
Since my all time favorite pantaloonless people decided to read this for our November selection, I will gladly tag along for my sixth turn through this fabulous book that is akin to a religious text for me.
And no, Steph ...more
It is human to want to group everything in neat little rows. Little lists that rationalise an order. Best books to read once in lifetime. Number of followers on Instagram. How much money is standard for a certain position. What level of education is the norm. The amount of period it is acceptable to be jobless after graduation. Rules. Edicts. Government. Laws. Religion.Dictionary. We adhere to these like a flame to a candle wick. Looking for an explanation, a definite end to everything. To make...more
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