Kate's Reviews > The Plague

The Plague by Albert Camus
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's review
Jun 05, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: 1945-2000, continental_eu, fiction, own, translation
Read in June, 2007

This book poses a lot of questions, creates some memorable and meaningful characters, produces some gut-wrenching moments, and is clearly the work of a genius. Camus's compassion, view of humanity, and facility with "objective" portrayals that still manage to be full of feeling are all astounding.

Negatives: some of the discussion of the grief of the separated (people cut off from loved ones abroad when the town was isolated) didn't quite ring true for me. So much attention was given to that theme that it seemed Camus used plague then as a device to talk about the separation of lovers, which I didn't find nearly as powerful as when he used it to talk about coping with untimely death.

I wondered about the translation - some words seemed like they must have been the least bad fit. If anyone has read this in both French and English I'd be interested in hearing an opinion.

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Geoffrey It`s been some time since I read the PLGUE so excuse me if I am wrong, but Tarrou is the character who is relentlessly rewriting the same sentence? If so, this is Camus` own paen to literary efforts, however miniscule and trivial. It`s a literary ploy to give himself the homage due his own literary efforts. But by paying homage to a minor talent, Tarrou, Camus is being his most democratic in giving credit to those even with insignificant literary talent, but whoever insist, year after year, by Sisyphean, herculean efforts, to perfecting their literary craft. Try writing fiction yourselves and see what he means.

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