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
"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
"The Stranger" was suggested to me by the protagonist of another book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Actually, many books are cited in "The Perks of being a Wallflower", but "The Stranger" is the book that intrigued more the protagonist and me.
Meursault is a modest employee of French extraction who lives in Algiers. He lives his daily routine with indifference, unable to openly manifest even the simplest emotions. And it is with apathy that...more
Meursault, the main character, is a man without feelings and one incapable of feeling remorse. Those deficiencies show at his mother’s death when he does not cry and does not even seem terribly upset. They show again when he agrees to write a letter for a friend so that th ...more
What an interesting little book. I enjoyed reading in the same way that I have
"Siddartha", by Herman Hesse, or "The Alchemist", by Paulo Coelho.
It's a brilliant small book - especially knowing it was written so long ago: 1942..... but it's timeless.
Is everything the same as everything else? Does it matter who we marry or if we marry? Does it matter if we live or die? Must murder have a meaning? ...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
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
"Mother died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know."
The laconic style sets an invariable counterpoint to the poetic, occasionally ornamented artistic language.
Albert Camus gilded as one of the most important literary and philosophical thinkers of the post-war period. The Nobel Prize laureate of 1957, which also focused on political questions before. The novel is an absurd work, up to the last sentence. He is also in the position in which the death-journey of a ...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
The protagonist, Meursault, just doesn’t give a fuck about anything. He just doesn’t care; he is totally indifferent about where he is and who he is with, and it’s terrifying. He has no emotional responses. He is, without a doubt, dead inside. He can’t feel and he cannot empathise. He lives in the now, utterly unable to comprehend tomorrow or the past: he simply exists in the moment, experiencing all that his sense ...more
So conceded Albert Camus’ longtime friend, confidante, and fellow agent provocateur, Jean-Paul Sartre, at the time of the much-publicized rift that ended their felicitous comradeship.
Well, and you know what? Camus always had something Sartre didn’t - a warm, caring HUMANNESS.
THAT’s why everyone who reads this book admires it. Camus was for REAL.
Camus, like so many mid-century existentialists, was alienated from traditional societal roles and structures.
But, unl ...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 tried before tri ...more
There is no room in my heart for indifference, and I struggle to see myself writing about Meursault without at some point bursting out in a stream of invectives. Albert Camus, most elegantly, describes the protagonist's carelessness in his caring prose - a prose of such stylistic perfection that it almost hurts to combine in your mind the beautiful words with their ugly meaning in his classic story. F ...more
Camus describes Meursault, the main character, only sparingly; and for the majority of the n ...more
In spite of my willingness to accept this glaring certainty, I simply couldn't. Because, in reality, from the moment judgement was passed, the evidence my sentence was based on seemed ridiculously out of proportion to its inevitable conclusion.
What or perhaps who is an Outsider? One who doesn’t conform to the norms set out by society. Who makes his choices irrespective of contemplating their probables outcomes as per society or simply one who acts as life props up. Mo ...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
“Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure.”
The Stranger is a 1942 novel by Albert Camus, often cited as a prime example of Camus' philosophy of the absurd and existentialism. The story's protagonist Meursault is an indifferent French Algerian, who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture. Meursault's initial musings at the very beginning of the story are the groundwork of the plot, as his indifference at his mother's funeral baffles everyone present there.
As a m ...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
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
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.
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