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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The StrangerThe Stranger by Albert Camus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can so easily love this novel. I can so easily hate this novel. There's the paradox. But then, the tale itself straddles the minimalistic line inhabiting what could be a sociopath, a man suffering profound ennui or apathy, or... simply any one of us.

I could say the novel is, as the author first states, a philosophy or meaninglessness, of absolute gentle disregard. Or I could say this is a tale of a man who is worn down to nothingness and can't be bothered to evoke a single emotion despite his mother dying or being asked by a woman to marry her. Or, for that matter, when he kills a man, and then, because the sun was in his eyes and he wasn't sure he did the job right, he put four extra bullets in the man. It's logical. So is his treatment of his mother, putting her in a home and not bothering to cry at her funeral, or commenting on the meaningless of marriage. He's not really involved in anything.

He's a tourist. Or he's abnegating everything.

I'm very disturbed by reading this. I'm also thrilled by the conclusion, that all this personal horror leads to profound existentialism. In effect, he welcomes the whole world with the same honor that it has shown him.

One could say that he and the world both flip each other off.

After that trial, I can't really blame him.

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