Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Stranger by Albert Camus ― Apr 13, 2012



The reputation of Albert Camus has never been higher. He was the novelist who captured the post-war sense of European civilisation in tatters. In his 1957 Nobel speech he said: "For more than twenty years of an insane history, hopelessly lost like all the men of my generation in the convulsions of time, I have been supported by one thing: by the hidden feeling that to write today was an honour."

Zakia reads about the trial

Camus' thought evolved with his writings and experience. When this novel is read with his later philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus, we see a vision emerging of how Camus surmounted the nihilism pervasive in much of European thought at the time – which gave rise to various streams of existentialism. But Camus' stance is unique as man of action, writer engagé, and novelist.

Thommo left early to test drive his Tata Nano

Is Meursault a 'queer fellow' as his girl-friend Marie suggests, or is he the normal male who enjoys the simple pleasures of life, and seeks to avoid the kind of  involvement with others that would abridge his own freedom? The irony is he gets caught up in a fracas, though he had no dog in the fight (as Texans say); and ends by losing his freedom totally!

Talitha, Priya, and KumKum at the Camus reading

Be surprised by who else read this novel lately:

Here are the readers at the end:

 
Talitha, Zakia, Priya, KumKum, Bobby, & Joe

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