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Albert Camus





evanc88
Has anyone read any Albert Camus? He was a magnificent french author and you can find translations of his books, short stories and essays here in the US all over the place.

I read "The Stranger," his first novel, recently and it was one of the most enlightening novels I've read. It did not so much as shine a new philosophical light on me as it did reinforce with stronger words what I already had believed myself. The novel explores "absurdism," closely related to existentialism, and it is the story of a man who commits a fairly useless murder and faces trial for it. There are two translations--the first was done by Stuart Gilbert in 1946, the second by Matthew Ward in 1989 (forgive me if my dates are wrong, I'm typing from the brain here). I recommend the Stuart Gilbert translation (I have read both) and the more formal tone comes off as easier to read, as well as a pleasing fit to the character of Meursault.

I've picked up The Plague, Camus's second novel, and am going to begin reading it shortly. If you love symbolism and philosophy in writing, you'll love this guy. Fans of Sartre, Dostoevsky, Kafka--I recommend Camus, though if you like these writers you have most likely heard of Camus.
palavra
i read "plague"
but i did't enjoy too much.
johanfh
I read it twice. The first time a didn't like it at all, that was about ten years ago. But last summer I reread it (it was still standing on the shelf, covered in dust Very Happy ) and know I liked it a lot more. I like how Camus describes the life in town, how every person gets a face, but also the inescapability of the city and of the plague. If it wasn't that sad it would be funny Razz

JohanFH
varon
I liked "The Stranger" and "The Guest" -- I haven't read "The Plague," but a lot of people say it's his best work. Wink I like his writing, though in (English) translation it DOES tend to sound too hard-sell for Existentialism. Razz But the themes of alienation, freedom, and the self are always good subjects for me, so that makes Camus rock. \m/
meet in rio
No, but that you for the recommendation. I've been worried about losing my French since I left school, so perhaps I'll have a crack at it. Is the language particularly complicated?
evanc88
I'm not sure how complicated the language of it is when read in french. I wouldn't guess it's too particularly difficult.

I didn't see it so much as an existential play. Published alongside his "Myth of Sisyphus," it dealt with his idea of absurdism, kind of a branch off of existentialism. It's extremely interesting, this philosophy, and worth delving into. At the end of the play, when Meursault says something like "what could his God offer me that a single grain of her hair couldn't?" I think the idea of absurdism hits at home the hardest. I love it.
ddukki
The Stranger was a good book. It was very shocking to see what could become of apathy. I'm very laid back myself, usually indecisive at times, so it was an eye-opener and a slap in the face to get my act together, all at the same time. Very good themes of duty in there as well.
evanc88
I'm also fairly... apathetic, laid back. But only in appearance I guess. Most of my time is spent in my mind, if that makes sense. Thinking, thinking. And I think that's how Meursault was. It's almost scary, really, how much of myself can be seen in him. I like your description of it as a wake up call.
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