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The Fall

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Jean-Baptiste Clamence is a soul in turmoil. Over several drunken nights in an Amsterdam bar, he regales a chance acquaintance with his story. From this successful former lawyer and seemingly model citizen a compelling, self-loathing catalogue of guilt, hypocrisy and alienation pours forth.

147 pages, Paperback

First published May 16, 1956

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About the author

Albert Camus

763 books26.4k followers
Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in philosophy (only chance prevented him from pursuing a university career in that field), he came to France at the age of twenty-five. The man and the times met: Camus joined the resistance movement during the occupation and after the liberation was a columnist for the newspaper Combat. But his journalistic activities had been chiefly a response to the demands of the time; in 1947 Camus retired from political journalism and, besides writing his fiction and essays, was very active in the theatre as producer and playwright (e.g., Caligula, 1944). He also adapted plays by Calderon, Lope de Vega, Dino Buzzati, and Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun. His love for the theatre may be traced back to his membership in L'Equipe, an Algerian theatre group, whose "collective creation" Révolte dans les Asturies (1934) was banned for political reasons.

The essay Le Mythe de Sisyphe (The Myth of Sisyphus), 1942, expounds Camus's notion of the absurd and of its acceptance with "the total absence of hope, which has nothing to do with despair, a continual refusal, which must not be confused with renouncement - and a conscious dissatisfaction". Meursault, central character of L'Étranger (The Stranger), 1942, illustrates much of this essay: man as the nauseated victim of the absurd orthodoxy of habit, later - when the young killer faces execution - tempted by despair, hope, and salvation. Dr. Rieux of La Peste (The Plague), 1947, who tirelessly attends the plague-stricken citizens of Oran, enacts the revolt against a world of the absurd and of injustice, and confirms Camus's words: "We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men, we still want to serve them". Other well-known works of Camus are La Chute (The Fall), 1956, and L'Exil et le royaume (Exile and the Kingdom), 1957. His austere search for moral order found its aesthetic correlative in the classicism of his art. He was a stylist of great purity and intense concentration and rationality.

Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1959.

Camus died on 4 January 1960 at the age of 46, in a car accident near Sens, in Le Grand Fossard in the small town of Villeblevin.

Chinese 阿尔贝·加缪

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Profile Image for Lauren Van Buskirk.
4 reviews28 followers
June 1, 2016
I ran into my friend Dan at the club last week, and he was drunk. So we talked Camus. We didn’t discuss Camus’s theories, or the fact that he avoided riding in cars and then DIED IN A CAR CRASH. We just talked about Camus in relation to Dan’s life and in relation to mine. The only really interesting thing about anything to me is how it affects me. That’s the honest truth.

Dan and I agreed that an interest in Existentialism is kind of a stage in your life – like when you liked Pearl Jam or lived in a little house that had a name and seven other people living in it. We then agreed that a re-exploration of all things Existential is usually preceded by your significant other telling you to get bent.

Later Dan taught me how to cure a salmon, and we decided to co-host a dinner party in the second week of April. I doubt we would have come to this conclusion without having read The Fall.
Profile Image for Glenn Russell.
1,344 reviews11.7k followers
February 10, 2017

“One plays at being immortal and after a few weeks one doesn't even know whether or not one can hang on till the next day.”
― Albert Camus, The Fall

“A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the newspapers.” So pronounces Jean-Baptiste Clamence, narrator of Albert Camus’s short novel during the first evening of a monologue he delivers to a stranger over drinks at a shabby Amsterdam watering hole. Then, during the course of several evenings, the narrator continues his musings uninterrupted; yes, that’s right, completely uninterrupted, since his interlocutor says not a word. At one point Clamence states, “Alcohol and women provided me, I admit, the only solace of which I was worthy.” Clamence, judge-penitent as he calls himself, speaks thusly because he has passed judgment upon himself and his life. His verdict: guilty on all counts.

And my personal reaction to Clamence’s monologue? Let me start with a quote from Carl Jung: “I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon.” Camus gives us a searing portrayal of a modern man who is the embodiment of spiritual poverty – morose, alienated, isolated, empty.

I would think Greco-Roman philosophers like Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, or Marcus Aurelius would challenge Clamence in his clams to know life: “I never had to learn how to live. In that regard, I already knew everything at birth.”. Likewise, the wisdom masters from the enlightenment tradition –- such as Nagarjuna, Bodhidharma and Milarepa -- would have little patience listening to a monologue delivered by a smellfungus and know-it-all black bile stinker.

I completed my reading of the novel, a slow, careful reading as is deserving of Camus. The Fall is indeed a masterpiece of concision and insight into the plight of modern human experience.

Here is a quote from the Wikipedia review: “Clamence, through his confession, sits in permanent judgment of himself and others, spending his time persuading those around him of their own unconditional guilt.”

Would you be persuaded?

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews55.9k followers
August 1, 2021
La Chute = The Fall, Albert Camus

The Fall is a philosophical novel by Albert Camus. First published in 1956, it is his last complete work of fiction.

Set in Amsterdam, The Fall consists of a series of dramatic monologues by the self-proclaimed "judge-penitent" Jean-Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life to a stranger.

In what amounts to a confession, Clamence tells of his success as a wealthy Parisian defense lawyer who was highly respected by his colleagues; his crisis, and his ultimate "fall" from grace, was meant to invoke, in secular terms, The Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden.

The Fall explores themes of innocence, imprisonment, non-existence, and truth. In a eulogy to Albert Camus, existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre described the novel as "perhaps the most beautiful and the least understood" of Camus' books.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یکی از روزها در سال 1975میلادی

عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: ا.(اصغر) بهروز؛ تهران، قائم مقام، مطبوعاتی خرد، چاپ نخست 1340؛ در 120ص

عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: علی صدوقی؛ تهران، قائم مقام، چاپ دوم 1345؛ در 107ص

عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: شورانگیز فرخ؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، فرانکلین، چاپ دوم 1352؛ در 189ص؛ تهران، نیلوفر؛ چاپ چهارم 1377، در 167ص؛ چاپ نهم 1393؛

عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: امیر لاهوتی؛ تهران، جامی، 1388؛ در 144ص؛ شابک 9789642575572؛

عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: آناهیتا تدین؛ تهران، روزگار، 1392؛ در 120ص؛ شابک 9789643741808؛

کتاب نخستین بار در سال 1956میلادی منتشر شد؛ رمانی فلسفی، که از زبان «ژان باتیست کلمانس (یحیای تعمید دهنده ی ندا کننده)» که وکیل بوده، و اینک خود را «قاضی توبه‌ کار» می‌خواند، به صورت مونولوگ اول شخص روایت می‌شود؛ او داستان زندگی‌ خویش را برای غریبه‌ ای اعتراف می‌کند؛ «ژان پل سارتر» فیلسوف «اگزیستانسیالیست»، این رمان را «زیباترین و فهم‌ ناشده‌ ترین» کتاب «کامو» می‌خواند

نقل از متن: (آقا اجازه می‌دهید بی آنکه مزاحمتی برایتان فراهم شود، خدمتی درحقتان بکنم؟ گمان نکنم بتوانید منظورتان را به این گوریل غول‌آسایی که اینجا را اداره می‌کند بفهمانید؛ آخر او جز هلندی، زبان دیگری بلد نیست؛ اگر اجازه ندهید من پادرمیانی کنم، نخواهد فهمید که شما عرق اکلیل کوهی از او می‌خواهید؛ می‌بینید، می‌توانم امیدوار باشم که حرفم را درک کرده؛ این سر تکان دادن مفهومش این است که با گفته‌ ی من موافق است؛. به راستی دارد می‌رود پی آوردن آن، با شتاب، اگرچه با کندی عاقلانه‌ای؛ بخت با شما یار است چون غرولند نکرد؛ موقعی که کاری را نمی‌خواهد انجام دهد، فقط غر می‌زند، آن‌وقت دیگر هیچ‌کس پافشاری نمی‌کند؛ برخلق و خوی خود مسلط بودن جزو امتیازهای حیوان‌های درشت جثه است؛ خب دیگر، حالا باید بروم، آقا؛ خوشحالم که توانسته‌ ام خدمتی برایتان انجام دهم؛ از شما متشکرم و اگر مطمئن باشم مزاحمتان نیستم، دعوتتان را می‌پذیرم؛ شما آدم بسیار خوبی هستید، بنابراین گیلاسم را می‌گذارم کنار گیلاس شما

حق با شماست، سکوتش کر کننده است؛ مانند خاموشی جنگل‌های بکر وحشی است، آکنده از هیاهوی پرندگان؛ گاهی تعجب می‌کنم که چرا این دوستمان با شنیدن زبان‌های ملت‌های متمدن، ابرو درهم می‌کشد، قهر می‌کند؛ پیشه‌اش ایجاب می‌کند از دریانوردانی با ملیت‌های گوناگون در این نوشگاه در آمستردام که نمی‌دانم چرا اسمش را گذاشته مکزیکو سیتی، پذیرایی کند؛ شما فکر نمی‌کنید با داشتن چنین پیشه‌ ای، زبان دیگری جز زبان مادری‌ اش را ندانستن برایش اسباب دردسر می‌شود؟ مجسم کنید که آدمی از دوران انسان‌های غارنشین کرومانيون، جزو مشتریان دایمی برج بابل شود! کم‌ترین ناراحتی‌اش احساس غربت و دوری از دیار است.)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 06/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 09/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
October 26, 2020

Ηλεκτροφόρα καλώδια στην καρδιά. Ηλεκτροσόκ κυριολεκτικό,κάθε φορά που ο αφηγητής σου απευθύνει το λόγο. Σε δείχνει. Σε χαρακτηρίζει.

Ταυτίζεσαι και όταν τελειώνει κοιτάς το ταβάνι. Κοιτάς το πάτωμα.Ξανακοιτάς το ταβάνι, οπουδήποτε πιο ψηλά απο το υπόγειο ή το υπέργειο μπουντρούμι σου.
Ανοίγεις τα κλειστά παράθυρα κι ας είναι νύχτα...
Βγαίνεις κάπου έξω για να κοιτάξεις ψηλά,όσο πιο ψηλά μπορείς,φτάνει να αποφύγεις την

Τσουλήθρα σε ξυράφια αυτό το βιβλίο που καταλήγει σε μια πισίνα γεμάτη οινόπνευμα. Αντέχεις;
Η Πτώση σε αφορά. Σίγουρα κάποτε αδιαφόρησες για την Πτώση κάποιου. Άρα αντέχεις.Την αλήθεια.

Μπορείς να δεις το οδοιπορικό της ματαιοδοξίας και της ανούσιας φαινομενικότητας που οδηγεί με μαθηματική ακρίβεια στην Πτώση.

Η μετάνοια και η εξομολόγηση ενός ανθρώπου. Ενός δικαστή-μετανοητή. Η δική μου εξομολόγηση. Η εξομολόγηση όλων μας.

Όλων των λίγο- πολύ βολεμένων. Με στρωμένη ζωή,με προβλήματα,με απόψεις,με κριτικό πνεύμα στην κατάκριση της κοινωνίας και με ιδέες φιλελεύθερες και εμπεριστατωμένες.

Όλων των προβληματισμένων που έχουν ωραίες απόψεις, κοσμική ζωή,φίλους,γνωστούς,οικογένεια, μόρφωση,εργασία και μικρή ή μεγάλη εξουσία.
Όλων όσων έχουν "κουσούρια".

Όσων είναι εγωιστές,φιλάνθρωποι,φιλόζωοι,νάρκισσοι, ατομιστές.

Όσων αγαπούν μόνο απο συμφέρον και είναι ανίκανοι να το καταλάβουν, που λένε πάντα την ψεύτικη αλήθεια για να είναι αρεστοί και αποδεκτοί.
Που παραδέχονται αξίες και ιδανικά μόνο για να μην κατακριθούν απο άλλους άμεμπτους ψεύτες.
Που συμπαραστέκονται απο χαιρέκακη ανωτερότητα όχι απο συμπόνοια.
Που κοιτούν χαμηλότερα για να αισθανθούν ψηλότερα. Δειλοί. Άβουλοι. Παραιτημένοι. Απελπισμένοι. Αμαρτωλοί. Ήσυχοι. Απλοί. Ονειροπόλοι. Καλοί. Κακοί.
Με μια λέξη άνθρωποι ή κατηγορίες ανθρώπων και ανθρώπων.

Για όλους αυτούς, για όλους εμάς,φτάνει μια στιγμή που μας δείχνει τον καθρέφτη της πραγματικής μας μορφής και υπόστασης.

Αν δεν ανήκετε σε καμία απο τις παραπάνω κατηγορίες, κρίμα.
Δεν χρειάζεται να διαβάσετε αυτό το βιβλίο.

Είναι αμείλικτο,τοξικό και κοφτερό.

Ίσως καλύτερα να μην το διαβάσετε. Είναι παγίδα.
Αν πιαστείς κανείς δεν θα μπορέσει να σε βγάλει. Πρέπει να βγεις ολομόναχος, αν τα καταφέρεις.

Συγκλονιστικά και τρομακτικά φιλοσοφεί ο Καμύ.

Αρπάζει απο τα μαλλιά τον σύγχρονο άνθρωπο που τον συναρμολογεί η νέα τάξη πραγμάτων,η θρησκεία, ο πολιτισμός,τα διάφορα συστήματα εξέλιξης και η ανούσια ελευθερία.
Τον αρπάζει απο το δουλοπρεπές"φαίνεσθαι" και τον σέρνει στον γολγοθά του "είναι".

Προσπαθεί να μαντέψει πως θα ήταν αν έσπαγε ο κρίκος μιας παγκόσμιας αλυσίδας αδιαφορίας και επίπλαστης ευτυχίας που μας δένει όλους και οδηγεί στην Πτώση.

Πως θα ήταν αν αντιλαμβανόμασταν πως ανήκουμε σε μια κοινωνία που κρίνει-κατακρίνει και επικρίνει αισχρά και αυτοί που την αποτελούν είναι ακόμη χειρότεροι ή εξίσου αισχροί υποκριτές.

Τώρα ξέρουμε.
Είμαστε προειδοποιημένοι.

Καλή ανάγνωση.
Πολλούς ασπασμούς!

Εισέρχεστε με απαραίτητη τη συνειδησιακή συναίνεση προς την επερχόμενη Πτώση.

Εγώ υποκλίνομαι ταπεινά. Αρχίζω να κοιτάω ψηλά...με δική μου ευθύνη!

Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
653 reviews6,940 followers
March 19, 2015

The Anti-Christ

Why does the Judge-penitent address you directly, as if he has found a kindred soul in you?

In this world responsibility is infinite and that is why The Fall is inevitable - even for a Christ. But back then Christ made a mistake — he saw (was) the nausea of the world, he saw (was) the complete guilt of each man (and his own) and he decided to redeem man (himself) by setting a supreme example. He sacrificed himself because he found himself guilty. It was only an example, a call to action -- to make men recognize and alter their way of life. He wanted man to see the depravity of his own existence by this one magnificent act. But his sacrifice was merely self-elevating, it could not elevate man. For man cannot be elevated before being shown the depths he roils in currently. And man cannot see faults where he looks to see heroes. He cannot see himself in Christ. Man cannot see man in the Ideal.

No, the faults had to be shown through an anti-hero. That is why the prophesy of an anti-christ was our true hope. That is why Christ had to return as the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ has to be closer to man, he has to be able to whisper to him as if he was just another man. He has to be able to make man see himself by looking at him. To make you see yourself as you really are by seeing in him yourself — yourself after The Fall.

That is why the Judge-penitent addresses you directly. He has found a kindred soul in you.

The Judge-Penitent

You are personally guilty for every fault that exists in the world. And The Fall is to not acknowledge your guilt — to withdraw from the world into aestheticism (recall Kierkegaard’s A in Either/Or) and make your life’s central concern one of making yourself feel good about yourself and thus about the world.

By the time Jean-Baptiste’s confession is over, you should realize that in fact the Judge-penitent is you. The story was yours. It is time to begin your own confession. It is time to stop being Kierkegaard’s A, and to be the B. To polarize yourself. Time to take responsibility and stare into the abyss.

Of course you might let someone else take The Fall for you, but from then on you would have to worship him. You would have to worship the guilty. You would have to worship the Judge-Penitent. But in this modern religion, to worship is to laugh at The Fallen.

That is the true role of the modern Christ. To take The Fall for you, so that he becomes the mirror in which you see the horror of your life.

The Fall

This necessary and continuous fall is the theme of the novel. It is one unforgiving, vertiginous descent. It is not a story of gradual discovery and ascent as in Sartre’s Nausea. In Nausea you see the picture that you should be painting of yourself. In The Fall you see the anti-thesis that you should use as your anti-model, as the one point which gives meaning to your picture by not being painted.

Here you are made to continuously disagree with a person who goes more and more towards that abyss. You are made to define yourself in your disagreement, to define yourself as a negation. And by doing that you are the one who discovers the nausea of such an existence, even as the narrator finds ingenious and pathetic ways to avoid it. And you are the one who moves away from the abyss.

You are the hero of the story, or at least the would-be hero — the one who is going to have the transformation that will change your world. The polarization is external to the novel.

Jean-Baptiste is one of the most powerful anti-heroes of literature, but you never root for his redemption. Instead you root for him to fall and fall — to Fall as horribly and as deep into the abyss as possible. Because that is the only way to root for yourself. Because the more he falls, the more you can see of what consists the abyss, and the further away you get from it. His Fall will save you. Mon cher, he is your personal Christ.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,630 reviews4,996 followers
September 2, 2016
you know this person, we all know this person, this particular kind of person. a real do-gooder, a person of the people, doling out the goodwill and the spare change and the spare arm to help that blind person across the street. you know the satisfaction they get from looking humble, acting humble, being anything but humble at the heart of them. reveling in their goodness; reveling in their superiority. selflessness disguising selfishness. this person loves 'em and leaves 'em too, except "love" is too strong, too emotional a word to describe the shallow physical connection that leaves out any potential for a genuine connection. this person looks at other people like they would look at a collection of amusing bugs. this person sees a person needing help but if it costs them something, anything, even just a bit of delay on their way to something super important, then they are going to pass that person by. this person doesn't actually like people all that much; this person despises them, more than a little.

you know this person because you have been this person! for at least a moment or a minute, maybe even longer, maybe it was something you had to get past. you know this person because this person is a part of you, unless you are some fairytale wonderland cartoon character who isn't capable of such things, of even thinking such things, and if that's the case - then fuck off! no, scratch that, don't fuck off; if you've never been this person, not even for a second, then message me because I wanna marry you. I've never been with a perfect person before.

you know this author, mark, or at least you thought you did. Camus! the very name brings up so many thoughts and ideas and college memories, so many references. it's an intimidating name because Camus is an intimidating author. at least I thought he was. but not the Camus who wrote this excoriating and brilliant little novella. The Fall is pure enjoyment. Camus gets into the head of his douchebag protagonist and makes you really understand him. and even better, he makes the experience so much more than a chilly intellectual exercise. Camus is funny. he's more than clever, he has a genuine although dark sense of humor - wounding but never callow wit. but more important than either the depth of his characterization or his darkly sparkling wit is the fact that Camus is a man with reservoirs of empathy. The Fall isn't just a hit job on some hypocritical asshole. Camus understands his character, intimately; he understands him by recognizing that his character is a trait within human nature. the deepest wounds come from the people who are armed with empathy - they know exactly where and how to hurt you. Camus holds up a mirror for his readers to gaze upon themselves. personally, I wasn't too big a fan of what I saw; I don't like that side of me. I hate confronting my own hypocrisies. but I sure did love the mirror itself! it was beautifully built, a real work of art.

8 of 16 in Sixteen Short Novels.
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,452 followers
July 21, 2022
- لا ادري اذا كانت افضل ما كتبه كامو، لكنها الأفضل بالنسبة لي: رواية قصيرة بالدرجة الاولى، كثيفة المعاني، صوت سردي واحد (البطل وكامو مندمجين)، مشبعة بالفلسفة، تستعرض حياة كاملة عبر مشوار بسيط (تقريبا نهار واحد بين البطل والمستمع اليه) وتعري البشرية بصورتها البشعة الجلية.

- الشخصيات: جان كلامنس ويعني "يوحنا المعمدان" المطهّر والمعمّد (عمّد السيد المسيح) والشخصية الثانية ما هو الا القارئ، وبذلك تكون احدى اولى المونولوجات التي تشرك القارئ بشكل تفصيلي في القصة. ويبدو ان كامو اراد للقارئ ان يحاكم نفسه ايضاً وهذا سأعود اليه لاحقاً.

- تبدأ القصة في احدى حانات امستردام، لماذا امستردام لأنها في ذلك الوقت مرتع العصابات والمافيات وتجمع "الحثالة" من جهات اوروبا الأربعة وبذلك تكون على ما وصفه "كامو" مستنقعات الجحيم. الحانة اسمها "مدينة المكسيك" او "مكسيكو سيتي" وهي التي قامت على انقاض السكان الأصليين بعد ابادتهم. وهنا يخلق الرابط بينهما.

كلامنس القاضي التائب، او المحامي التائب الذي عاش حياته بثنائية وازدواجية يحاكم نفسه كطريق لمحاكمة العصر السائد بأكمله والضمير الانساني برمته (او ما تبقى منه) من خلال تجربة احادية. فهو كريم بحضور الناس، مؤنس بلسانه الطلق، مقدام بحضور الجمهور، عاطفي بزلفة اللسان ويستعرض كل ذلك بعدة امثلة ابرزها ثلاثة:

١- مثل البواب الذي مات.
٢- مثل سائق الدراجة الذي ضرب البطل.
٣- مثل المنتحرة على الجسر

ففي الاول استعرض الرياء الاجتماعي والمسايرة التي تحدث بعد موت شخص ما من دون وجود اي رابط او ذرة محبة في حياته. والثاني الانكسار الشخصي امام الذات. والثالث اللامبالاة في ظل غياب الجمهور.

- يستعرض كامو عبثية هذه الحياة وكذبها وريائها والتصنع الاجتماعي، يستعرض الاقنعة التي يلبسها البشر ويغيرونها حسب المناسبة، يستعرض المفاهيم الرنانة كالتحرر (يظهر لنا حبه لوجود العبيد ضمنياً)، المقاومة (وجد انه مع المفهوم لكن ذلك لا يليق به ولا يناسبه العيش بين الحفر!! )، يستعرض الفراغ في هذه الحياة العبثية، معرجا على مفاهيم العدالة والحرية والحب والعبودية والصداقة مظهراً الوجه الآخر للقمر.

- النهاية لكأنها عودة الى الفطرة الانسانية وكلمة "لو" لكن " فات الوقت الآن.. وسيفوت الوقت دوماً... لحسن الحظ"

- بعيدا عن الرواية، فإنسان كامو العبثي قد يكون انسان ميكافيللي لكن الاول بدأ بنقد ذاته فيما سيقوم الثاني بتبرير غايته. انسان كامو هو ذاته انسان نيتشة (المتفوق) لكن الاول عبثي ونادم الى حد ما اما الثاني فهو مركز مسيطر والندم لا يعتليه.. لماذا هذه المقارنة؟ لأن الثلاثة يتواجدون في الحياة فالى اي منهم سيجنح القارئ؟!! وهل سيستطيع كامو إصابة هدفه الأخير بدفع القارئ لمحاكمة نفسه؟!

- اسقاطاً على الواقع، لا زال العصر ذاته، الكذب والتصنع ذاته، الرياء والقوادة ذاتها، معظم السياسيين على شاكلة بطل كامو (قبل ان يعترف) وبذلك لا زلنا في مرحلة "السقوط".

-اخيراً الترجمة، ووا اسفي على ترجمات كامو للعربية (رغم ان هذه الترجمة ليست بسوء القصص القصيرة) لكنها جافة وباهتة ولا تنساب وتتسلسل كالقصة الفرنسية.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,045 reviews1,692 followers
October 29, 2017
تابلوی نقاشی "قضات پاکدامن"، نام یکی از تابلوهای مجموعه نقاشی مذهبی است که در محراب کلیسای گنت در بلژیک قرار داشت.
این اثر هنری به همراه بخش های دیگر این مجموعه، در سال ۱۹۳۴، به سرقت رفت.
سارق طی چند نامه، درخواست مبلغ کلانی برای بازگرداندن تابلو کرد، ولی درخواست توسط اسقف اعظم کلیسای گنت رد شد. پلیس هیچ وقت نتوانست سارق را بیابد.

مدت ها بعد، شخصی به نام "آرسِن گودرتیر"، در بستر مرگ به وکیل خود گفت: او تنها کسی است که می داند "قضات پاکدامن" کجاست، و این راز را با خود به گور خواهد برد.
در یکی از کشوهای او، کپی نامه های اخاذی ای که به اسقف فرستاده شده بود را یافتند و همچنین یادداشتی به این مضمون که: تابلو در جایی مخفی است که بدون جلب توجه عمومی، نمی توانند بیرونش بیاورند.
گروهی حدس زدند که تابلو باید در خود کلیسا باشد، و با پرتوی ایکس، سرتاسر کلیسا را گشتند. فرضیه های دیگری هم مطرح شد، ولی هیچ یک به نتیجه نرسید.

این ها، همه در حالی بود که این تابلو، در یک میخانه در هلند، بالای سر مست ها و اوباش عربده جو آویزان بود.

پ ن: بخشی از کتاب، راوی می گوید که این تابلو در حقیقت دست او بوده و او داده آن را در یک میخانه آویزان کنند، ولی توضیح چندانی راجع به ماجرای سرقت تابلو نمی دهد. این بود که رفتم و از ویکی پدیای انگلیسی، چند و چون ماجرای سرقت را درآوردم.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 28 books13.5k followers
September 20, 2016
I used to be, as they say, a person of some consequence, but now I spend most of my time on Goodreads. What? Oh, I worked for an American organization which provided experts for hire. At significantly elevated rates, it goes without saying. Reliable expertise carries a high market value, that was our business model. Let me tell you about one job I performed. A Spanish government agency wished to discontinue funding of a software project, why I don't know. Some internal feud, perhaps. They required an unimpeachable opinion to quote, so I had been brought in as an external evaluator. I was politely told in advance that my evaluation was expected to be negative. My contact assured me that he would keep the meeting as short as possible, in the interests of everyone concerned.

I went in and shook hands with the representative of the project. I could see he had been up all night trying to improve his system's performance. I allowed him to show me the app for a few minutes. The contact man looked at me. In a neutral tone, and, in English, I explained that the project was not using the currently fashionable architecture or evaluation methodology; it was hard not to feel that this raised serious doubts. The contact man translated. "But he doesn't even know Spanish," the victim said helplessly; the contact man replied; a minute later, we were shaking hands again and leaving. The next day, my boss told me the client had been pleased with my performance.

After I discovered Goodreads, I began to feel that software projects were insufficiently challenging. Instead of giving bland opinions on code, I could use my own words to judge the accumulated output of the world's writers, from Homer to the present day. The response was also more interesting. A curt and eloquent dismissal of Joyce or Dostoyevsky would produce satisfying howls of protest from the soi-disant intellectuals, and a comment thread that could yield a whole morning of amusement. But after a while, this too palled. I found that there are only a limited number of ways to disturb a highbrow reader's sense of literary appropriateness; I began to move my reading steadily downmarket, to vulgar and poorly executed novels which readers actually seemed to care about.

Soon I had touched bottom and found the rich stratum of authors with accounts on the site. People claim, without much conviction, that they care deeply about To the Lighthouse; they may believe in all honesty that they care about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But there is no doubt at all that they care about their own books. It was extraordinary easy to manipulate these authors' vanity, first raising up their hopes with an appreciative comment and then hitting them with a bluntly insulting one-star review. If they dared object - I was surprised to see how many did - it was then the work of an hour to assemble dozens or even hundreds of other reviewers, who would mock and scorn them as "badly behaved authors", adding their own insulting reviews. I know, one can hardly call my career a glorious one; but no doubt you have similar crimes on your conscience.

Every author, I learned, longs to find the ideal reader who will read them as they know they should be read, who will understand all the things they wished to say but could not express. They search for the ideal reader, but all they find are critics. I think there has only been one ideal reader, two thousand years ago. He looked past the surface of the book and saw the true book inside, the book so deeply hidden that even the author could not see it. Naturally the critics found him intolerable and put him to death. Later, people felt that they had to write a book about the ideal reader. It is a confused and poorly structured book, full of inconsistencies and non-sequiturs. It is still the best book yet written.

I could continue, but it is nearly midnight. I do not think I will tell you any more about my life. Instead, I suggest we walk across the bridge into the Vieille Ville, past the art galleries and antiquarian bookshops. Another one closed down just last week. I want to see them before it is too late.
Profile Image for emma.
1,821 reviews45.3k followers
December 13, 2021
I love small books. I always have, always will.

You may be tempted to assume, due to everything else about me and what I do and who I am as a person, that this is sheer laziness on my part. That because I do not enjoy "putting" "effort" "into" "things," I appreciate when a book takes me an hour or two to read.

But you'd be wrong.

Okay, fine, you'd be a little bit right. My book a day habit gets a little unwieldy when I start picking up tomes of YA fantasy and 20th century classics. But still. That's not the ONLY reason.

It's not even the main one.

There's just something to the idea of concision that I admire.

By definition, writing a 600 page volume with brilliant ideas and advanced plot and likable characters is easy. Or at least easier than the alternative.

But when an author can do the same in 200 or less...those are the works that stick with me.

This is a very skinny little thing, and yet I did spend hours with it. Just letting its ideas sink in and its prose stay with me for a moment longer than necessary for basic understanding.

And I'm very glad I did, in case that wasn't obvious. I've read books of varying lengths and qualities and genres this month, as I attempt to clear my owned to-read list, but few will stay with me like this will.

But also, in case I overdid it - this is still not intimidating. It's funny and short and it's clear. You could read it in an hour if you wanted to.

You just won't want to.

Bottom line: I don't really know how to review philosophy, but in case it's not obvious, I'm leaving the ideas out of it. As my elementary school librarian would say: Read to find out.


i feel like my brain just grew two sizes. grinch's heart-style

review to come / 4 stars

currently-reading updates

who, me? oh i'm just reading a twentieth century classic work of philosophy that won the nobel prize for literature. no big deal.

and yes, my quest to become as pretentious as possible is coming along rather well, thank you

clear ur shit prompt 5: your shortest book
follow my progress here

tbr review

how do i stop reading the first few pages of a book in a bookstore and using that as an excuse to justify buying it
Profile Image for Gaurav.
138 reviews1,118 followers
November 7, 2017
The Fall
Albert Camus

I saw only superiority on myself, which explained my benevolence and peace of mind.

You are sitting in a bar in Amsterdam- the Mexico City- just after world war, when you chance an encounter with a ordinary being, a simple man popping up on the stage of your life. Jean-Baptiste Clamence comes across to you an ordinary citizen who tells you he used to be a lawyer but he’s now a judge-penitent. A strange kind of emotion provoked in your consciousness due to the announcement about his profession. You don’t know what that means- judge-penitent, but he promises he’ll explain it to you. He narrates in the first person, explaining that you are both from Paris, you’re both in your forties, and you’re both men. Jean- Baptiste Clemence takes you on a journey where he put his real being across you after peeling off layers after layers of his inauthentic personas he has put up to comfort himself against the incising eyes of The Others, however only to warp his being by new ones. You are taken aback by a sudden terror realizing that the man you meet then is actually like you, it’s your own being, in fact he represents all humanity, the universal condition- hollowness of human existence. Welcome to the world of Camus.

I wanted to break up the mannequin that I presented to the world wherever I went, and lay open to scrutiny what was in its belly.

The narrator claims that he once lived a good, self-satisfied life, believing himself a model citizen. However. I was on the right side, and that was enough to ease my conscience. A sense of legality, the satisfaction of being right and the joy of self-esteem: these, my dear sir, are powerful incentives to keep us on our feet and moving forward. Clamence, in his position as judge-penitent, embodies the human necessity to judge, and need to condemn. The innate desire of human beings to judge acts as the very source of false morality. He creates a sort of illusion around himself based on the self-appeasing traits, however the spell, created by these ‘traits’, shattered to nothingness during one night when is walking by Seine, observes a that woman flings herself from the river bank and to certain death. He is standing right there listening on the cries of the woman but he couldn’t move to help her. Her fall triggers Clamence’s own. In another incident, Clamence finds that he is trapped behind a motorcycle which has stalled ahead of him and is unable to proceed once the light changes to green as a result. Other cars behind him start honking their horns, and Clamence politely asks the man several times if he would please move his motorcycle off the road so that others can drive around him; however, with each repetition of the request, the motorcyclist becomes increasingly agitated and threatens Clamence with physical violence. , Clamence, utterly humiliated, merely returns to his car and drives away. Later, he runs through his mind "a hundred times" what he thinks he should have done — namely strike his interlocutor, then chase after the motorcyclist and run him off the road. After having been struck in public without reacting, it was no longer possible for me to cherish that fine picture of myself. If I had been the friend of truth and intelligence I claimed to be, what would that episode have mattered to me? It was already forgotten by those who had witnessed it. For Clamence, the collision of his true self with his inflated self-image, and the final realization of his own hypocrisy becomes painfully obvious. Awakened to the reality of both his own, and the whole of humanity’s guilt, Clamence retreats from his settled life build around seemingly false self-placating characteristics and chooses rather to spend his days recounting his story in the hope that others will be awakened as he has been, and in so being alleviate the burden he himself carries. Clamence takes to this misanthropic life with ease, declaring himself a “judge-penitent”, both condemned and condemning.

The face of morality represented by Clamence, actually turns out to be an illusion of morality, a morality doesn’t build around integrity instead around false notions of righteousness. However, the narrative props up an underlining truth that the false veneer which Clamence wraps around his being takes birth out of necessity to live a seemingly virtuous life- in the eyes of The Other. But it leads to an inauthentic, hollow existence which permeates from the straightforward narrative of the book but shows you hypocrisy of your existence itself. And your whole existence shudders with inexplicable terror while reflecting upon the hollowness of your very being. The self-loathing aroused from it makes you realize that your whole existence is a catalogue of guilt, hypocrisy and alienation as the morality, you build your life upon, ripped apart on the encounter with harsh realities of existence. The fall which Clamence experiences is not just his fall, it’s the fall of whole humanity as your whole history of existence is built around such false, self- assuaging norms, otherwise hollow in its core. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers. While acknowledging that isolation is the only way to begin to free oneself of the expectations of others and avoid Sartre’s Bad Faith, Clamence preaches slavery – the abdication of freedom – as the only way to be happy. As Sartre used to say – we are condemned to free. It is one of his many diabolic. I'm well aware of the fact one cannot do without being dominating or being served. Every man needs slaves just as he needs fresh air. Giving orders is like breathing, you must agree? In a world of only relative morality, authority, Clamence seems to suggest, is the only root to objective truth. But if you question it on the ontological level, you find that this assertion is undercut by Clamence’s own attempt to elevate himself to the position of judge, wherein you find a logical inconsistency as humanity attempts to judge itself without transcendent being.

The main thing is to able to let oneself do anything, while from time to time loudly declaring one’s own unworthiness. I allow myself everything, once again and this time without laughing. I haven’t changed my way of life: I still love myself and I still use other people. It’s just that confessing my sins permits me to start again with a lighter heart and to gratify myself twice, firstly enjoying my nature, and then a delicious repentance.

And you find that world of Clemence is no different that of Mersault, for he faces the problems of anonymity and indifference in modern life, only to expose the absurd nature of life wherein human beings tend to find meaning of life and totally unable to find any. As a character, Clamence epitomises the selfishness that stands between man and authentic experience, and true morality for community not just self. Only a novice would say that Clamence is Camus’s own voice- naively tracing the biographical elements in the books, however, the character of Clemence represents the reflection of a modern man living in post war. The nihilistic feeling he feels on encountering the absurdness of life urge him to take the easy way out- to fall back, only on new false notions. His inability to live between the evil and the righteousness- in the absurd state of life- creates a false morality. Clamence experiences Kierkegaard’s Dread. By choosing to embrace a life of judgement, he becomes a fallen prophet.

The narrator would take you through the ‘bourgeois hell’ of Amsterdam by his monologue about guilt, hypocrisy and alienation. He ensnares us in his world of mirrors and deceptions, conveying the universality of his message while at the same time offering enough precision of detail for us to be aware of references to explicit events and personalities even we do not know what and who these are. Sartre once called it’ the finest and the least well-understood’ of Camus’s works. The observation by Sartre was bang on since the multi-layered text of this highly allusive book creates a chilling atmosphere behind its simple language and straightforward narrative. Though the divergence of Sartre’s and Camus’s thinking has become evident much earlier but Sartre’s review of The Rebel made it one of most celibrated literary battles of 20th century. One would assume, perhaps appropriately, that the novel was written, at least in parts, to express Camus’s feelings about the quarrel with Left (as Sartre had been champion of Marxism) however the novel appears to have references to ideas of Sartrean Existentialism. In Being and Nothingness, Sartre had posited a world in which human individuals are totally free, but in a constant struggle to defend their freedom against the encroachment of others who will attempt to dominate, limit and constrain them. These attempts can take the form of open oppression or more subtly, of love and affection, emotions that Sartrean Existentialist are imbued with bad faith- bad faith of the kind that Clemence seems to be describing when he talks about his discovery that ‘modesty helped me to shine, humility to triumph and virtue to oppress’. Observed with judgment and enslavement, Clamence is an Existentialist, too, in the anguish that comes with his understanding of the human condition and its absurdity. One may find Clamence to be satirical portrait of Sartre, something seems undeniable given the circumstances in which the novel was written, some may even hind that Clamence as a portrait of Camus himself as even some of the reviewers reverberate the same. Perhaps he has traits of both. The confession of the ‘judge-penitent’ may be in reality an accusation. In that case, it leads right back to Existentialism, it could be traced out in Camus’s notebook which reads: ‘Existentialism. What they accuse themselves, one can be sure that it is always in order to condemn others. Judge- penitents.’

I didn’t know that freedom is not a reward or a decoration that you toast in champagne. Nor is it a gift, a box of delicacies which will make your mouth water. Oh no! On the contrary, it’s hard gift and a long-distance run, all alone, very exhausting. No champagne, no friends raising their glasses and looking affectionately at you. Alone in a dreary room, alone in the dock before yourself and before the judgement of others. At the end of every freedom there is a sentence, which is why freedom is too heavy to bear, especially when you have a temperature or you are grieving or you lose nobody.

I am the end and the beginning, I announce the law. In short, I am a judge-penitent.

It's one of those books which require you to actively ponder upon what the author has to say beneath its straightforward narrative. And you'd be amazed to see its profound effect on multiple readings. If you're willing to stretch yourself beside the conventional demands of a book, Camus's universe is for you.

Profile Image for Swrp.
561 reviews107 followers
December 22, 2021

Do you wonder what I see whenever I look in the mirror? I often think of this 'definition' of character, that these wise people keep saying. Character is defined as who you really are when no one is around or watching you. It is said that your ‘true self’ comes out during these by-yourself times. It could be because you can fool everyone in this world, but not the ‘self’. Well, it does seem like the ‘self’ is smarter and wiser than me.

The Fall may in the literal sense denote a life stage wherein everything is falling, crumbling and struggling, but in the real sense, it is about finding clarity, understanding the moral and value foundations of oneself and searching for that ‘light’ even in the darkest of the times.

My past does matter, it is mostly needed to determine my actions in the present and also for laying a foundation for the future, if at all in my life there is something called tomorrow. But, mon ami, when I see in the mirror and if all I find are mistakes, failures and flaws, then how shall I carry forward? It is like dragging myself in quicksand, and it would not make any sense carrying that light. As we are all aware, Death is certain, and hence why not I welcome it with some hope and smile, instead of darkness and despair.

Camus is desperately trying to instil that value into my life. He is telling me that I can never control the truth or the future, but if I can with urgency, find my definition of the truth and understand with crystal-clear clarity my values and morals, then I shall find peace and happiness in life and also death.

Profile Image for Guille.
738 reviews1,443 followers
June 21, 2021
“Una sola frase les bastará para el hombre moderno: fornicaba y le��a periódicos.”
Termino la novela absolutamente abrumado por la cantidad de ideas, de símbolos, de imágenes, tan hermosamente expresadas, tan sugerentes, tan fascinantes. Siendo un libro tan breve, prácticamente lo he subrayado entero.

En primer lugar, la forma, una de mis grandes debilidades, un monólogo confesional de alguien profundamente enfermo vital y moralmente. Un ser contradictorio que, directamente mediante su parlamento e indirectamente a través de su propia condición, muestra el absurdo del mundo. Un ensayo novelado sobre cómo somos, sobre cómo vivir y sobre cómo no hacerlo.
“¿No nos hallamos siempre frente a las mismas preguntas, aunque sepamos de antemano las respuestas?”

Si con estas pocas líneas he logrado interesarles, lo ideal sería que dejaran aquí mi comentario, siempre subjetivo y posiblemente deficiente, y leyeran la novela. Creo que parte del placer de la obra de Camus es ir descubriendo las contradicciones del personaje, la complejidad de su problema, la trampa de su solución. Pero, si aun así desean continuar…

Jean-Baptiste Clamence, que una vez más se encuentra en un bar declamando su vida a un desconocido, empieza su perorata presentando un paisaje desolador de la condición humana.
“¿Sabe usted que en mi aldea, en el curso de una acción de represalia, un oficial alemán pidió cortésmente a una anciana mujer que tuviera a bien elegir de entre sus dos hijos al que habría de ser fusilado?”
Él tampoco se salva de este retrato. Tras describirse así mismo en el pasado como un ser humano admirable, un abogado preocupado por ayudar a los débiles, por perseguir las injusticias, alabado y respetado por todos…
“…lo importante era que yo estaba en el lado bueno y eso bastaba para lograr la paz de mi conciencia. El sentimiento del derecho, la satisfacción de tener razón, la alegría de poder estimarse uno mismo… Gozaba de mi propia naturaleza y todos sabemos que en eso estriba la felicidad…”
… confiesa que sus motivaciones son mucho más oscuras y que su conciencia, en forma de una risa fantasmal empezó a acosarle sin tregua. Un inesperado encuentro con una suicida en un puente del Sena — La caída— desencadenará todo un cataclismo emocional.
“Verdad es que me hallaba satisfecho de todo. Pero al mismo tiempo, satisfecho de nada. Cada alegría me hacía desear otra…Y así corría yo, siempre colmado, nunca saciado, sin saber dónde detenerme. Hasta un día, o mejor dicho, hasta una noche en que la música se interrumpió de pronto y las luces se apagaron. La fiesta en la que yo había sido feliz ...”
No solo empezó a lidiar con la culpa y la vergüenza íntima, también, y sobre todo, debía enfrentarse al juicio ajeno.
“…me sentía vulnerable y entregado a la acusación pública. A mis ojos, mis semejantes dejaban de constituir el auditorio respetuoso al que estaba acostumbrado. El círculo del que yo era centro se quebraba y ellos se colocaban todos en una sola línea como en el tribunal. A partir del momento que tuve conciencia de que en mí había algo que juzgar, comprendí que en ellos había una vocación irresistible de ejercer el juicio…el universo entero se puso a reír alrededor de mí.”
Jean-Baptiste, que no se llama así por casualidad, anunciará la buena nueva, la salvación del hombre, cuando en realidad solo señala los peligros de su actitud, su despropósito: un totalitarismo en el que descargar toda culpa. Jean-Baptiste es un hombre que reniega de la libertad por lo que implica de responsabilidad y, por tanto, de dolor.
“Al cabo de toda libertad hay una sentencia. Aquí tiene usted la razón de que la libertad sea una carga demasiado pesada… Lo esencial es que se nos mande cada acto, que el bien y el mal se nos designen de manera arbitraria y por lo tanto evidente… Para quién está solo, sin dios y sin amo, el peso de los días es terrible.”
Y, por si ello no bastara, se aferra a la opción cínica, esto es, extender la culpa a todo el mundo, diluirla en la multitud, procurando, además, que todos la reconozcan y así contrarrestar los juicios a los que él es sometido adquiriendo el derecho a juzgar a su vez.
“Cada hombre da testimonio del crimen de todos los otros; ésa es mi fe y mi esperanza.”
Una risa dio inicio a su tormento, otra risa, en este caso la de su interlocutor, lo continuará.
Profile Image for Steven Godin.
2,314 reviews2,190 followers
August 20, 2017
The philosophical and psychological study of a man suffering inner turmoil and a crisis of existence, the man in question is one Jean Baptiste Clemance, a Parisian lawyer who while spending time in an Amsterdam bar starts to tell a moving, slightly disturbing story of self-pity and guilt to a complete stranger, only the feeling here was that a mirror was between them and felt more like a confession to himself rather than anyone else. This is Classic Camus and has all the trademarks you would come to expect. Deeply thought provoking, chilling, great narrative and with some memorable lines, my only issue was it's length at under a hundred pages, I craved for more.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
508 reviews389 followers
August 3, 2022
It is no easy task to review a book by Albert Camus. His books are deeply philosophical and often thought-provoking. You need to summon all your intellectual faculties to grasp all that he is saying because otherwise, you'll run the risk of missing important points which are subtly scattered throughout the work. The Fall is quite honestly the most thought-provoking book I have read of Camus so far. His voice is so powerful, and his words are imposing that I was utterly drowned in them as to lose my own voice and words. I'm still not quite sure whether I've fully found my voice and words, and not even sure if I could pen my thoughts coherently. But some inner part of my mind signals me that I should venture to pour them nevertheless before awe overpowers and silences me from expressing my thoughts.

Written in a series of monologues, The Fall is a confession of a self-proclaimed "judge-penitent", John Baptiste Clamence. He confesses his sins to a nameless stranger and describes his life before and after "the fall". Clamence has been a successful and highly respected defense lawyer in Paris before a chance witnessing of a suicide marks the crisis of his life. The guilt of not taking any action to prevent it or immediately alerting anyone of the incident continuously weigh on his mind over the years until its force crushes him accenting his fall. He flees Paris and ends up in Amsterdam. There, in a bar, he tells his story to a stranger.

Clamence's confession is not confined to his sins, but the sin of mankind at large. His life is just a mirror for us to see the truth of man. And mind you, it is not a pretty image. Clamence's description of himself as "a double face, a charming Janus" who is nothing but a "play actor" is not confined to himself alone. To Clamence, all men are the same. They are nothing but play actors in a tragic social drama. "If everyone told all, displayed his true profession and identity, we shouldn't know which way to turn." So everyone is being pretty hypocrites, hiding their true self and displaying only a cloaked version of them. No one truly cares or is generous or loyal to his neighbour. All is just a pretense to satisfy man's supreme need for self-satisfaction. Self-love is what is important. Man "has two faces: he can't love without self-love". And that makes all our outward actions turn towards us, pointing only at one direction, which is self-love. "The feeling of law, the satisfaction of being right, the joy of self-esteem, are powerful incentives for keeping us upright or keeping us moving forward." The self-importance blinds the man and impairs his charity. He cannot appreciate or admire others, finding faults and being judgemental all the time. At their death, however, the so-far restricted tongues keep wagging and praise pours forth in torrents of words. Why is this so? Because they are no more and "with them, there is no obligation."

This is the "fall", the fall of mankind. Full of self-love and self-esteem, the men have forgotten to love their neighbours and have disobeyed the laws of humanity. And to hide their own fall from grace, they exercise a power that is reserved for God. They "judge in order not to be judged themselves." Man is envious of another's happiness. Happy men are the most persecuted. On the other hand, man relishes in another's misery and sympathizes thoroughly. This is human nature. "Happy and judged or absolved and wretched." But what right do we have to judge the others, sinners that we all are? And can we exercise such a power justly, which is obviously beyond our capacity? Clamence says to the stranger"You were speaking of the Last Judgment. I shall wait for it resolutely, for I have known what is worse, the judgment of men. For them, no extenuating circumstances; even the good intention is ascribed to crime." By exercising a power beyond us, we have heavily erred.

Camus's thoughts and words are powerful. Being an advocate of the absurdity of life, he shows the folly of these "play actors" who, in a life void of meaning, live as if they know its truth. I'm not in the same mind as Camus and my life philosophy is different. Nevertheless, one cannot stop taking notice of his side of the argument. There is a lot of truth in what he says.

My reading experience of The Fall is unique. It had such an intense force on me with its thought-provoking substance. I've been emotional over books, but I've never got goosebumps before. That reaction was wholly reserved for music. But Camus, with his powerful words, managed to infiltrate on what I have sacredly kept for that other branch of my enjoyment. So, I'll say this to him. Dear Camus, thank you very much. You and I may not see eye to eye in everything. But you've somehow managed to settle under my skin with this beautiful work.
Profile Image for Samadrita.
295 reviews4,512 followers
December 8, 2012
Do you want to have the very foundations on the basis of which your whole outlook towards life has been shaped, questioned?
Do you want to see the lines between so-called good and evil, right and wrong, the moral and immoral blurred to the extent you could not distinguish one from the other?
Do you want to erase that cherished and precious point of reference, against which you have compared, weighed all your actions, thoughts and feelings so far?

If the answer to the above 3 questions is yes, then go ahead and read Albert Camus. You may end up falling in love with his work, his notions on moral ambiguity and grudgingly marveling at his genius.

Did I love this book? Yes.
Did I understand every aspect of it? Yes and No. Might take me a few more reads.
Did I love the prose? Oh hell yes.
Do I know whether to label this book as a kind of doctrine on nihilism or existentialism or a curious combination of both? Oh hell no.
Profile Image for Ehsan'Shokraie'.
585 reviews161 followers
April 7, 2019
اگر به دنبال تصدیقی بر نبوغ البرکامو میگردید,اینجاست..
در "سقوط"..
فوق العادس این کتاب..
به شدت ارتباط برقرار کردم..اصلا سبک روایت و نگارش این اثر منحصر به فرده..
جملات,افکار..همه چیز بوی واقعی زندگی رو میده..رایحه ای که شاید هر یک از ما در لایه هایی که اخلاقیات,ظواهر و احساسات سعی در پنهان کردنش داریم..و البرکامو اون ها رو در میاره و به سمت ما پرت میکنه..و فراری از "سقوط" وجود نداره..کامو فوق العادست..
Profile Image for Fernando.
676 reviews1,065 followers
December 13, 2021
"¿Conoce usted a Dante? ¿Realmente? ¡Diablos! Entonces sabrá que Dante admite ángeles neutros en la querella entre Dios y Satanás; ángeles que el coloca en el limbo, una especie de vestíbulo de su infierno. Nosotros estamos en el vestíbulo, querido amigo."

¿Qué clase de libro es “La caída”? No es una novela, ni un cuento. No tiene las características de un ensayo. ¿Hay manera de clasificarla dentro de la “normalidad” de los textos literarios? Quién sabe…
Cuando uno se dispone a leer este libro, ya desde las primeras páginas cree encontrarse con un monólogo, pero tampoco es eso. Es más bien un soliloquio extraído de una conversación en la que el narrador, que utiliza un nombre inventado, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, sostiene con otra persona en un bar de la ciudad de Amsterdam, llamado México-city (que también puede ser el lector mismo).
A lo largo de sus páginas uno va leyendo, a modo confesional cómo ha sido la vida de este abogado devenido en juez penitente y que a modo de descargo, utiliza esta conversación para establecer su posición haciendo hincapié en distintos eventos tanto de su vida pasada como de sus días actuales.
Hay ciertas palabras que quedan flotando en la mente del lector, como “vanidad”, “amor”, “egoísmo”, ”cinismo”, “confesión”, “costumbre”, “mentir”…
Pareciera como que nos encontramos con un narrador inconformista al que en la vida no le ha ido nada mal, pero que, fiel al autor que le escribe el guion, se aferra a un existencialismo marcado por la aburguesamiento a causa de esa vida fácil, mientras recuerda la manera en que conoció a distintas personas de todas las clases para poner en práctica su particular forma de ser.
Creo, sin lugar a dudas, que podría asociar “La caída” a otros tres libros escritos de una forma muy similar: en primer lugar a "La náusea" de Jean-Paul Sartre ya que el emparentamiento filosófico y literario es casi idéntico sin olvidar que Camus y Sartre definieron lo que conocemos como "Existencialismo".
Luego a “Memorias del subsuelo”, de Fiódor Dostoievski (aunque en este caso el narrador no tiene nombre y su manifiesto es ácido, recalcitrante y de un tinte subversivo muy marcado, que utiliza para despotricar contra el sistema, contra el mundo y contra todos), y por último, con el libro “El innombrable”, de Samuel Beckett.
Y con respecto a Albert Camus, qué más puedo decir que no sean palabras de admiración y afecto que he sabido tener para este gran autor. Todos sus libros tienen un sello único, muy difícil de asociar a otros escritores.
Es un autor muy original a la hora de escribir y podemos comprobarlo al leer obras tan disímiles como sus novelas “La peste” y “El extranjero”, su obra de teatro “Los Poseídos” (inspirada en su novela preferida de Fiódor Dostoievski, “Los Demonios”, a quien admiraba muchísimo) y al ensayo sobre el absurdo “La piedra de Sísifo”, con marcadas referencias a distintos personajes y escritores famosos.
Pero todo esto lo escribe con maestría y con la impronta de su genio único, algo que hizo que yo lo considere cada vez más como a uno de mis escritores preferidos.
Siempre me causará satisfacción leer y releer la obra de Albert Camus.
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,007 reviews354 followers
August 1, 2021
Consciência -- O Inferno da Nossa Existência

Será que até os nossos atos de bondade para com os outros, derivam dum narcisismo desmedido?!
Sempre que damos uma esmola, ajudamos um cego a atravessar a rua, etc, etc, ... será que o fazemos porque tais atitudes são cotadas positivamente pelos outros que as avaliam e recompensam rotulando-nos como "pessoas de bem"!?...
Será o altruísmo uma forma de egoísmo hipócrita?!
Um Narcisismo mascarado?!

Com a Queda, Camus põe em causa a natureza humana, condenando-a a um julgamento estéril -- existe uma Consciência auto-punitiva inoperante, que se limita a condenar o irremediável.

É um Ciclo Eterno de Pecado e Auto-Julgamento, onde a Mudança não tem Lugar!
Somos irremediavelmente Maus -- seres em Queda contínua, com uma Consciência massacrante, um instrumento de tortura que tem como função única apontar-nos cada erro.
Que descrença na Humanidade -- não só não presta, como não há volta a dar ☹️
Profile Image for Hodove.
157 reviews165 followers
June 1, 2021
وقتی کتاب تموم شد. دوباره به صفحه اول برگشتم. و در بار دوم بعضی پاراگراف ها رو چندبار خوندم. این اعتراف‌نامه‌ی بی نظیر جز بهترین تک گویی هایی بود که خوندم.
عجب کتابی...
Profile Image for Muhammad Arqum.
104 reviews68 followers
January 6, 2016
How foolish I was to assume this would be a quick little read. I could not have been more wrong. I physically feel exhausted. How did Camus write this? The fall is as dense as they come, bitter, excruciating. Forces you to cogitate. The ideas are so repugnant and yet they keep gnawing inside your head. The words are like evil dark matter that establishes its authority right from the start and stays there dictating, vandalizing your property. I cannot believe I am giving this a 5 star rating. I don't know, perhaps it's a glimpse into a godless mind, a wretched heart drenched in hedonism, directionless and tired. It's unfortunate that people have to go through such misery.Also, it shows mirror to all of us, aren't we all hypocrites in one way or another? Writing this would have taken its toll on Camus, I am not ready to believe otherwise. The last few pages are going to stay with me, like headless serpents. I don't know, I feel blessed to be a believer, and also I'm shaken by this "quick little read".
Profile Image for Sarah.
184 reviews399 followers
May 4, 2017
“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”

“Freedom is not a reward or a decoration that you toast in champagne. On the contrary, it's hard graft and a long-distance run, all alone, very exhausting. Alone in a dreary room, alone in the dock before the judges, and alone to make up your mind, before yourself and before the judgment of others. At the end of every freedom there is a sentence, which is why freedom is too heavy to bear.”

“Your success and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them. But to be happy it is essential not to be too concerned with others. Consequently, there is no escape. Happy and judged, or absolved and wretched.”

“Friendship is less simple. It is long and hard to obtain but when one has it there's no getting rid of it; one simply has to cope with it. Don't think for a minute that your friends will telephone you every evening, as they ought to, in order to find out if this doesn't happen to be the evening when you are deciding to commit suicide, or simply whether you don't need company, whether you are not in the mood to go out. No, don't worry, they'll ring up the evening you are not alone, when life is beautiful. As for suicide, they would be more likely to push you to it, by virtue of what you owe to yourself, according to them. May heaven protect us, cher Monsieur, from being set upon a pedestal by our friends!”

“He had been bored, that's all, bored like most people. Hence he had made himself out of whole cloth a life full of complications and drama. Something must happen - and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death. Hurray then for funerals!”

“Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings? How we love the friends who have just left us? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth! Then the expression of admiration springs forth naturally, that admiration they were perhaps expecting from us all their lives. But do you know why we are always more just and more generous toward the dead? The reason is simple. With them there is no obligation. They leave us free and we can take our time, fit the testimonial between a cocktail party and a nice little mistress, in our spare time, in short.”
Profile Image for Mohammad Hrabal.
254 reviews176 followers
March 1, 2021
یک. در مورد ترجمه‌ی «شورانگیز فرخ» احساس خوبی نداشتم.
دو. مقدمه‌ی هوشنگ گلشیری را پس از خواندن کتاب بخوانید.
سه. کتاب کم حجم است ولی کشش آن کم است و باید با حوصله بخوانید.
چهار. پس از خواندن سقوط صفحات 146 تا 157 کتاب «فلسفه‌ی کامو»؛ ریچارد کمبر؛ خشایار دیهیمی را مطالعه کنید.
شیرجه‌های نرفته گاهی کوفتگی‌های عجیبی به جا می‌گذارد. ص 47 کتاب
احساس احقاق حق، رضایت خاطر از حقانیت خود، شادی از احترام به خود، اینها محرک‌های نیرومندی هستند که ما را استوار می‌دارند یا به پیش می‌برند. ص 49 کتاب
بالاتر از دیگران زیستن هنوز تنها راهی است برای اینکه اکثر مردم انسان را ببینند و به او احترام بگذارند. ص 56 کتاب
آقای عزیز، آیا در واقع این همان بهشت نبود: مستقیما با زندگی در آمیختن؟ زندگی من همین بود. هرگز نیازی نداشتم که شیوه‌ی زیستن را بیاموزم. در این مورد از بدو تولد همه چیز را می‌دانستم. ص 57 کتاب
دوستی به این سادگی نیست. به مرور ایام و با رنج بسیار به دست می‌آید، اما چون به دست آمد، دیگر راهی برای خلاصی از آن وجود ندارد، باید در برابرش سینه سپر کرد. ص 60 کتاب
انسان چنین است، آقای عزیز، دو چهره دارد: نمی‌تواند بی آنکه به خود عشق بورزد دیگری را دوست بدارد. ص 63 کتاب
من زندگی را دوست دارم، ضعف حقیقی من همین است. به حدی دوستش دارم که از آنچه جز خود زندگی است هیچ گونه تصوری ندارم. فکر نمی‌کنید که در این ولع به زندگی چیز عامیانه‌ای وجود دارد؟ ص 100 کتاب
مردم برای اینکه خود محاکمه نشوند در محاکمه کردن شتاب می‌کنند. ص 105 کتاب
ما به ندرت برای کسانی که از ما بهترند راز دل می‌گوییم. حتی از محضرشان می‌گریزیم. در مقابل، بیشتر اوقات اسرار خود را نزد کسانی اعتراف می‌کنیم که به ما شباهت دارند و در ضعف‌ها و حقارت‌هایمان شریکند. ص 107 کتاب
باور کنید ادیان از لحظه‌ای که دم از اخلاق می‌زنند و با صدور فرمان تهدید می‌کنند، به خطا می‌روند. ص 132 کتاب
سانسور همان چیزی را که نهی می کند به فریاد بلند اعلام می‌دارد. ص 136 کتاب
Profile Image for Jacob.
12 reviews5 followers
March 14, 2008
As with most Camus, this book is, in the course of a hundred or so pages, an entire decade of therapy. If you don't feel worse—yet oddly optimistic—about yourself and people in general after this book, you're either inhuman, or you're the exact person this book was meant for.

Someone once extolled this book as "an examination of modern conscience," and it was through this lens that I first began this work. That's accurate, I suppose, to a point, but to leave interpretation at that would be to rob this book of the most vital, living, breathing readings.

On the surface, the book presents as a dialogue (presented as a monologue—how's that for queer?), a "confession" of one man to another over the course of five days. Each day the narrator, Jean-Baptise Clemence, tells more of the story of his life as a lawyer, his (existential!) crisis with life in general, and the resolution he's come to now, so many years later.

I think my prior study of Existentialism helped understand this book, and thence a healthy portion of my enjoyment, but a deep knowledge of Camus is not necessary.
Profile Image for Melina.
61 reviews56 followers
April 1, 2020

Από πού να το πιάσεις; Τι να πρωτοπείς; Ό,τι και να ειπωθεί δεν μπορεί να αποτυπώσει το μεγαλείο αυτού του βιβλίου. Πρέπει να το διαβάσει κανείς μόνος και να φάει καταπρόσωπο τα χαστούκια που του αναλογούν, γευόμενος τις ίδιες του τις πράξεις, τις σκέψεις και τις συμπεριφορές του.

Πρόκειται για ένα ταξίδι στα άδυτα του νου και της ψυχής, στα μονοπάτια που μεθοδικά και συστηματικά αποφέυγουμε να διασχίσουμε, σε μια προσπάθεια αναζήτησης των βαθύτερων κινήτρων μας. Ο Καμύ επιχειρεί να ξεφύγει από την επιφανειακή ανθρωπιστική διάσταση των πράξεών μας και να τις εξηγήσει θέτοντας ως πυρήνα τον εγωκεντρισμό που πηγάζει από τον έρωτα προς τον εαυτό μας. Κάτι, άλλωστε, με το όποιο είχαν ήδη καταπιαστεί οι πάνσοφοι αρχαίοι, δημιουργώντας τον μύθο του Νάρκισσου.

Στηλιτεύει αριστοτεχνικά την υποκρισία, το θεατρινισμό, την αδιαφορία, την απληστία, τον εγωκεντρισμό, τη φυγο��ονία, τη δειλία, τη χυδαιότητα, το ψέμμα, το χρήμα, την πολιτική, την εξουσία, την οργανωμένη θρησκεία και πολλά άλλα στοιχεία του σύγχρονου, κυρίως δυτικού, ανθρώπου τα οποία έχουν ως απώτερο και ολοκληρωτικό στόχο την ατέρμονη τέρψη του ''εγώ'' μας. Και για να μη νιώθουμε μειονεκτικά ή τυχόν θεωρήσουμε πως κάνουμε κάτι λάθος και κλονιστεί η ευυποληψίας μας, τα σκεπάζουμε όλα με το πέπλο της αδυναμίας και της λήθης. Πόσο πιο εύκολο είναι να ξεχνάς το λάθος απ'το να πράττεις το σωστό; Πόσο απολαμβάνουμε την αγάπη των άλλων προς εμάς, τρέμοντας την ιδέα του να υποφέρουμε και μεις τον πόνο που η ίδια η αγάπη υποκρύπτει, ανταποδίδοντας την αγάπη τους άλλους; Γιατί το να αγαπάς κάποιον άλλον σημαίνει να αφιερώσεις στον άλλον λίγη απ'την αγάπη για τον εαυτό σου, αλλά κατα πόσο είμαστε έτοιμοι να το κάνουμε αυτό;

''Με δυο λόγια, για να ζω ευτυχισμένος, έπρεπε να μη ζουν καθόλου τα πλάσματα που επέλεγα.Δεν έπρεπε να παίρνουν ζωή παρά, αραιά και που, απ'τη δική μου καλή θέληση''.

''Μια μέρα βρίσκεσαι να παίρνεις, δίχως να ποθείς πραγματικά. Πιστέψτε με, για μερικά τουλάχιστον πλάσματα, το πιο δύσκολο πράγμα στον κόσμο είναι να μην παίρνεις ό,τι δεν ποθείς''

Ο επιτυχημένος σε όλους τους τομείς της ζωής του δικηγόρος Ζαν Μπατίστ Κλαμάνς, εξομολογείται σε έναν άγνωστο την αξιοζήλευτη(;) ζωή του, την ''κρίση'' και την ολοκληρωτική του Πτώση στην οποία οδήγησε ένα γεγονός που τον σημάδεψε, όταν ένα βράδυ άκουσε μια γυναίκα να πνίγεται και αυτός ο δίκαιος, ευυπόληπτος, ελεήμων άνθρωπος που εκδιώκει το κακό και το άδικο όπου βρέθει και όπου στάθει αγορεύοντας, δεν πήγε να τη βοηθήσει. Ο άγνωστος είμαστε εγώ, εσύ και όποιος άλλος κρατήσει στα χέρια του αυτό το βιβλίο, ενώ το γεγονός που τον σημάδεψε είναι εκείνα τα μικρά πράγματα που κάνουμε καθημερινά χωρίς ίσως να το καταλαβαίνουμε, οι μικρές αποφάσεις που παίρνουμε βάζοντας το προσωπικό όφελος πάνω από όλα, και που συναθροιζόμενα τελικώς οδηγούν στην απύθμενη κατάπτωση και ηθική ξεγύμνωσή μας. Όλη αυτή η εσωτερική αποκαθήλωση γίνεται πλέον φανερή μέσα από τα λόγια ''Ασυναίσθητα λοιπόν περνάω, μέσα στο λόγο μου, απ'το <<εγώ>> στο <<εμείς>>''.

Από τη στιγμή που λαμβάνει χώρα το γεγονός, ο Ζαν Μπατίστ θεωρεί κάθε φιλοφρόνηση που λαμβάνει ειρωνική, λες και όλοι γνωρίζουν το μυστικό του και τον περιγελούν. Και οι έπαινοι πονάνε σα μαχαίρια όταν γνωρίζεις ότι δεν τους δικαιούσαι. Όταν η συνείδησή σου δεν ειναι καθαρή.
''Αχ, ποιος να το πίστευε πώς έγκλημα δεν είναι τόσο να σκοτώσεις όσο να μην πεθάνεις εσύ ο ίδιος'' !!!

Ανάμεσα στα πραγματικά αμέτρητα θέματα που διαπραγματεύεται ο Καμύ στην Πτώση, είναι και η έννοια ελευθερία. Το πώς όλοι την αποζητούμε, επαναστατούμε, κάνουμε σκληρούς αγώνες για αυτήν χωρίς να αντιλαμβανόμαστε το μεγαλείο της και ότι αποτελεί ''θητεία και πορεία σε βάθος, εντελώς μοναχική και πλήρως εξαντλητική'', και άρα όποιος την έχει πρέπει να είναι πολύ προσεκτικός ως προς το με τι τρόπο θα τη χρησιμοποιήσει ώστε να φανεί αντάξιος ενός τέτοιου μεγαλειώδους δικαιώματος.
''Στην άκρη κάθε ελευθερίας υπάρχει μια καταδίκη. Να γιατί η ελευθερία είναι πολύ βαριά για να την κουβαλήσεις, ιδίως όταν υποφέρεις απο πυρετό ή πονάς ή δεν αγαπάς κανέναν''.
Και έτσι, για όλους τους λόγους που ανέλυσα παραπάνω, πολλές φορές προτιμούμε τη συλλογική δουλεία από το να κουβαλήσουμε το υπέρογκο βάρος της μοναχικής ελευθερίας.

Όμως για μένα το πιο συγκλονιστικό, ανατριχιαστικό, ανατρεπτικό, προκλητικό σημείο του βιβλίου είναι οι τελευταίες προτάσεις του, από τις οποίες δε θέλω να αναφέρω τίποτα γιατί δεν έχω το δικαίωμα να χαλάσω τη μαγεία του να τις βιώσει ο καθένας μόνος του, να τις φυλάξει και να πορευτεί μαζί τους.
Πώς αλήθεια άντεξε να γράψει ένα τέτοιο βιβλίο;...

''Για να'σαι όμως ευτυχισμένος, δεν πρέπει να πολυασχολείσαι με τους άλλους''

''Η μόνη άμυνα βρίσκεται στην κακεντρέχεια. Οι άνθρωποι λοιπόν κρίνουν για να μην κριθούν οι ίδιοι''

''Ήμουν απών τη στιγμή που καταλάμβανα τον περισσότερο χώρο'' !!!

''Δεν ξέρετε, είν' αλήθεια, αυτό το κελί, βαθειά μέσα στη γη, που το Μεσαίωνα το λέγανε απομόνωση. Εκεί, κατά κανόνα σε ξεχνούσαν για όλη σου τη ζωή. Αυτό το κελί, ξεχώριζε από τα άλλα για τις ευρηματικές του διαστάσεις. Δεν ήταν αρκετά ψηλό για να στέκεσαι όρθιος, αλλά ούτε και αρκετά μεγάλο για να μπορείς να πλαγιάσεις. Έπρεπε να δεχτείς τα εμπόδια.. να ζήσεις ΔΙΑΓΩΝΙΩΣ......
Profile Image for Mohammed  Ali.
475 reviews1,116 followers
December 6, 2016
قراءتي الثانية لهذه الرواية

يمكن أن تختصر هذه الرواية في خمس كلمات فقط : العبث , التحدي , التمرد , اللامبالاة و اللاجدوى .

على أنغام الفنان , الكاتب , الملحن و المغني البلجيكي الشهير ( جاك بريل ) و أغنيته المشهورة جدا " في ميتاء أمستردام " Jacques Brel - Le Port d'Amsterdam "
تبدأ أحداث هي الرواية المونولوج لأن بطلنا واحد يقوم بالحوار و الوصف و الحركة..تبدأ من قلب حانة مطلة على ميناء أمستردام تسمى " حانة المكسيك " و يا لغرابة هذا الإسم .

إن غياب التفكيرٍ العميقٍ لمعنى الحياة هو الشكل الآخر لرتابة الحياة، بالتالي نعود نسأل ما جدوى من المعاناة آنذاك...؟ بالتأكيد ما من جدوى....!
يقول كامو: "..ان شعور بالعبث ياتي حينما يشعر الانسان ان الحياة بدون هدف، وانها مجرد روتين يومي .. وأعمال متكررة.. الأشياء ذاتها .. والمواعيد.. وأيام العطل .. وأيام العمل.. والأعياد.. وأشياء كثيرة تسير وِفقَ إيقاع واحد...، بذلك تولد شعورا بالعداء للعالم الذي نشعر تجاهه بلاغتراب ، وأن الزمن الذي يقودنا لمضاعفة جهودنا هو عدونا الأول، وأن حقيقة الموت تكشف لنا عبثية الحياة، والعقل بطريقته الخاصة يقول لنا أن هذا العالم عبثي

لقد تنفس ألبير كامو عبر هذه الرواية بعمق..حيث جعل كل سطر من سطورها بمثابة الشاهد على فلسفته و نذكر منها بعض الأمثلة و التي يمكن إعتبارها تعريفات كاموية لبعض الأمور الحياتية

القضاة :
القضاة كاموووو
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الثراء :
الثراء كاموووو
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السعادة :
السعادة كامووو
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العبودية :
العبودية كامووو
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الحكماء :
الحكماء كاموووو
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النساء :
الفتاو كامووو
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الموت و الحب :
الموت و الخب كاموو
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الإزدواجية :

عدم التطابق كاموووو
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Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
February 15, 2020
I was at the St Louis City Museum with the fam, summer of 2017, taking a break, reading this edition of The Fall, and an employee noticed I was reading this, and a fifty-year-old copy I have owned all of my life. "Oh!" she said, "My favorite philosopher! And such an old book! Can I smell it?" I understood her fetish. And her admiration for Camus, which has been a lifelong thing for me.

I had decided to re-read the (sort of) trilogy from Camus this year, including The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall, though I never really related to the latter when I first read it. I began re-reading it in August, set it aside, and only finished it now, in December! The Stranger is sort of sensational, in a way, the story of an amoral murder, accomplished without guilt; The Plague, which I consider one of the great novels, features Dr. Rieux who commits to saving lives even as the plague advances and things seem hopeless. Another quick way of distinguishing them is that The Stranger is a portrait of an alienated, nihilist man; The Plague is almost the opposite, featuring a passionate commitment to social justice, and The Fall once again shows us that we have largely failed to learn from WWII. All three work together to make a philosophical case for a commitment to help others, for humanism, if you will.

The Fall is a first person account of a Parisian lawyer, Clemance, a self-satisfied hypocrite, making a kind of confession to another man in a bar. The confession pertains to something that happened one night a few years ago when the lawyer was walking by the Seine; he observes a woman flinging herself from the riverbank, a suicide. He hears the cries of the woman but he doesn’t move to help her (cf. The Stranger).

The character of Clemance represents modern man living post WWII, post-Holocaust. The woman’s fall, in short, triggers Clemance’s own moral fall. Camus said that the book represents a kind of confession, though one unaccompanied by a transformation. He said it was “a story of the confused spirit of the times.” It reminded me, in this reading, of Dostoevsky’s also first-person account of political and moral struggle, Notes from the Underground.

Clemance’s story begins with a mention of he Jewish Quarter in Amsterdam. That image is important to the story thematically. If The Plague is an inspiring story of resistance, The Fall is one of a failure to act, of knowing that bad things are happening (such as the Allies knowing of the Holocaust) and doing too little, too late about it. As Clemance says, “I have no friends; I only have accomplices. To make up for this the number has increased; they are the whole human race.” We are all morally culpable for the Holocaust (and subsequent genocides and atrocities).

Clemance, not penitent, is nevertheless haunted by his moral failure:

“Then I realized, calmly, as I resigned myself to an idea the truth of which I have long known, that that cry which had sounded over the Seine behind me years before, has never ceased.”

The Stranger and The Plague have always been great books for me, but I’ll admit, The Fall is chilling, as dark as The Stranger in many ways. (But since I have fifty year old paperback copies, they all have that same musty smell!)

Camus's Three Antidotes to the Absurdity of Life, from Maria Popova!

Profile Image for Samra Yusuf.
60 reviews398 followers
July 25, 2017
So what do we talk about, when we talk about living? The very foundations on the basis of which our whole outlook towards life has been shaped? I’ve heard people claiming to spend their lives with a code of conduct, a sort of philosophy of their own to lead a life.” I love doing this,” “I like being there”, “this is wrong”, “I shouldn’t have said that”, and countless other incongruous statements.
From where comes this venerated point of reference to judge our actions, where lies the line that discerns good from evil, moral from immoral, right from wrong…..if there is any!
Camus, unlike the other existentialists, never takes religion as hostile, the very title is an obvious reference to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve; our narrator has come as a sinner to us, he has sinned, or so he thinks, and for the consequences, he has fallen from happy fields, into place where there is no light, but darkness visible, he talks and talks to us, confessing sin after sin over the course of several long evenings, why does at this point of his life, has he thought to grant words to those unspeakable actions, or inactions he has done, why indeed he thinks, there lies redemption in confessesions?
Clamence,is the victim of judgment, his innerself prods him to outlook life beyond the self-centered existentiality, he has done deeds of good, but has never savored the feeling of being good, he has helped the penurious, but with no empathy, he has enjoyed being fabled, with a certain aloofness, he has taken pleasure in women, but never loved any!
And now he comes to us, as a sinner, craves to be heard and redeemed, he is exhausted of being a mere spectator in stage of life, he seeks hope in reclamation, but there is no hope in regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace and rest can never dwell, hope never comes that comes to all, but torture without end!
In the light of this work of genius and brevity, I am left bewildered and convinced all the same, was Camus tired of those existential refrains, he preached so dearly in his works, because in later, while criticizing this school of philosophy, and addressing Sartre what he said, is of importance gravely!
"far from leading to a decent solution of the problem of freedom versus authority, [existentialism can only lead] to servitude”
A little conclusive, isn’t it??

Profile Image for Luís.
1,820 reviews472 followers
January 23, 2023
There is a “before” and an “after” The Fall moment from which our hero, a brilliant lawyer, will realize his vanity and the somewhat artificial life character. Then, naturally, he will try to indulge in some illusions by falling in love or evil, but he will eventually fail in Amsterdam. This is where he poses as a “penitent” judge, accusing himself of avoiding the judgment of others but also, by reflection, blaming others.
That’s a comprehensive, rich, complex, and disturbing book with themes dear to Albert Camus, such as religion, faith, and judgment.
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