Albert Camus


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have you heard about the new works coming out by CAMUS' cousin? supposed to be good and interesting stuff about creation.

>>By camus   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 12:58)

when i read the stranger, i thought it was really simple book, it didn't have that

much of hard words. so it is really easy to understand the story, but

it is really hard to understand the character (Meursault)

>>By Soo Kim   (Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 02:49)


>>By JANELLE   (Monday, 28 Apr 2003 01:51)

He was a smart and brave man. He was amazing and I think that he should deserve a madal for all the brave and fascinating things he did for other people.

>>By Shany   (Tuesday, 29 Apr 2003 03:01)

Camus' The Stranger changed my life. At 19 years old, with wide eyes, the power of the written word was exposed to me. Camus' letters, journals, articles, novels, short stories....though philosophically contempt, are beautiful examples of how to write what it is your wish to shout.

>>By Warsaw   (Monday, 4 Aug 2003 19:20)

i like to share few words with you about camus,first we can not understand his novels without thinking of the essence of existentialism : what is the meaning of life? all camus writings are an approchment to this question,and how knows maybe his strange death !

>>By jessi   (Tuesday, 5 Aug 2003 22:23)

Not a strange death - the car he was in crashed and his body died....happens every day to people who do not write.

>>By Warsaw   (Wednesday, 6 Aug 2003 06:40)

Camus died in a car accident but he was depressed about what was happining in algiria at that time,and he left after a disappointining disscusion with a group of intellectuals they didn,t seem to care about the behavior of colonolial france in algiria. one more thing,your remark" car..crash..happens every day to people who do not write" was enlightning..!

>>By jessi   (Thursday, 7 Aug 2003 11:18)

Albert camus never considered himself an existentialist, strangely enough everyone lables him as one. I've only read "The Stranger" and it was a great book. Someone commented on his style of writting and it is not a bad way to write something, just because it leaves alot up to assumption. I think that was the point, Camus was daring the reader to assume. I don't really see "The Stranger" as an approach to life. But more so an approach to death, often he mentioned how he realized he was no longer a free man, but got used to the idea. Though I'm not big into analyzing everthing, it would seem that the whole story was building up to the last paragraph... which is unusual. How many books have you read that you didn't really feel empowered or like you understood till the last paragraph. Then again, it could just be me, but after the last paragraph I had a sudden feeling of understanding, of being discontent with the world but being content with Meursault. I wouldn't mind hearing a passage that moved people other than the last monologue.

>>By 7L-weenie   (Sunday, 10 Aug 2003 01:50)

i really liked the "the renegade". what other works of his are similar to it? in style, theme, content, anything

>>By clngre   (Sunday, 10 Aug 2003 02:56)

Its been a while since I've read "The Stranger" but to me the story has always been about life. It's just another view where Meursault is a stilled character. With him there isn't a lot of passion, or compassion. Meursault, who's mother dies and at her funeral all he did was sit and think about his physical weakness' in the sense that he was tired. If my mother died I would have done more than sit and sleep or smoke a cigarette. There was no emotion in anything he did. This lack of emotion may be due to the fact that for Meursault, there was truly no purpose in life. He assumes the same routine everyday, never flagging in its tediousness. Maybe to him that was life but he really didn't understand it until that fatal day when he experienced "life" at first hand. He killed a man. That began to unravel a great many things for him. Did it give him purpose or direction? No but he began to realize in himself that there was more to the world than just being. If that is the perspective, then, yes Camus could be classified as Existential. All in all, it is a great book.

>>By T_Sweety   (Saturday, 8 Nov 2003 05:45)

please read colin wilson "the outsider" it looks at camus as well as other authors in depth - it is an important book and one that will change the way you think for he better (if you are half intelligent)

>>By brainslave   (Sunday, 18 Jan 2004 14:48)

what fascinates me in his writing style is in his ability to probe into the individual self and his relationship with the social order. he serves us with psychological theories and unadulterated political commentary. i've read "the outsider" and "the plague". im looking forward to acquaint myself more with his genius.
Existentialism is basically a philosophy of man's ability for self-determination. Analyze his characters. Sometimes their actions or decisions are not logically coherent with the plot. But that is exactly the point.

>>By melancholia   (Wednesday, 31 Mar 2004 11:15)

Perhaps existentialism plays a major role in his novels, but I'm not certain whether an existential hero actually exists. Take Hemingway, for example. In his novel A Farewell to Arms, Lt. Frederick Henry was the existential hero - how? For an existential hero to have a place, everything and everyone around that character must be completely accomodating to that character's needs and wants, so as to make life as pleasurable and simple as possible. For Hemingway's lt. Henry, such is exactly the case: Catherine (his mistress) bows down to his every need and desire, serves his ego and basically exists only to satisfy Henry's sexual needs. Once a complication arises, it must be squashed into nonexistence, just as Catherine's baby died and so did she. However, in Camus's The Stranger, for example, there is no accomodation for the main character. He is on trial for murder and is sent to the guillotine as punbishment. There are no exceptions made for him, nothing to make his life more comfortable. Therefore, I make my point that there is no existential hero. And if there is no existential hero, can there be a motif of existentialism at all?

>>By Fairy of Shalot   (Monday, 5 Apr 2004 23:43)

Firstly, Shany said: "he should deserve a medal for all the brave and fascinating things he did for other people." Well, he did! He got the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature!

Anyway, Camus has also changed my life. I used to be such a pessimist, taking life far too seriously, but even after simply reading l'Étranger, I take life more as it comes, simply enjoying it. I know now that it doesn't particularly matter if something doesn't go my way - i'm gonna die anyway! Ironic that his views have made my life happier, since Meursault saw life as pointless and unimportant, and didn't enjoy it. Oh well, I guess others can profit from his misfortune :p

>>By hezbez_ek   (Friday, 16 Apr 2004 13:04)

hezbez: meursault does actually enjoy life, he enjoys himself a lot in the book, he just doesn't take life too seriously. he lives by the moment and does only what he will find enjoyable.

we can learn a lot from meursault.

>>By Gautama   (Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 00:03)

I agree with you Gautama, Meursault enjoys life, not caring about the obstacles there may be in one's life (such as his mother's death), he's being completely reasonable and most importantly honest, which is the reason why society starts rejecting him. I think that's the best way to enjoy life, not caring about anything whatsoever.

>>By EhhhRight   (Friday, 30 Apr 2004 19:24)

Almost right on T_Sweety!
I think the theme seems like "apathy" because of all the "meaninglessness" that we feel in the character's world--and his lack of response to it (some could struggle agaisnt it, in vain of course).
But I'm sure he felt pleasure--as in every long drag of a cigarette--unless of course that's not what you think of when using the word "passion." The mistake is to think there must be another symbolic dimension to that.
Camus was puzzled by the absurd--and, whether he liked the association or not, this is also a result of existential circumspection. The "nihilism" that results after the collapse of our old theology is just that.
Finally, I'm not sure whether "happy fatalism" is all we can get from this book. I think the anger of Mersault at the end is an attempt to respond destructively to a decadent culture's demand for things sacred (which will bring every accusation without distinction, from his profane attitude at his mother's death, to whatnots, against him at a trial where only the facts of the case ought to have weight).
It's not about death being the liberator of problems of "life meaning" (dear Hezbez, however you cope with disenchantment), I think it's a little more...creative.

>>By Bakary   (Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:23)

i have not read yet the stranger nor the plague .what makes me change is the renegade and the fall...the renegade has rise on me a sort of boiling revolt and yet sustifiable .all the nihilist philosofers that he mentioned puchase god from his throne in the name of humain freedom and earthly kingdom"as he call it".and that what strikes me in camus :his deep humanism and renouncement of absurdity.

>>By the haunted   (Wednesday, 26 May 2004 16:29)

I love about Camus is the images he can create in my mind, they are so life like and real, it seems that i was actually there walking with Meursault up the hill to the small town in the blazing bright sun. And I definitly enjoy the sun and the heat so much more, even years after reading his books, when I go out in to a really hot and bright sun I can just feel how much Camus would love it too. And that is what has stayed with me the longest, not the philosophical undertones of his works, but the images he gave me.

>>By o2basco   (Sunday, 12 Sep 2004 21:56)

I found it quite hard to actually grasp his character. we're not told anything about him, and we have to figure out his character entirely by his words and actions in the novel. except, the question is, what prompts him to kill the Arab so randomly? he shows no remorse, and even for his mother he shows no remorse. his indifference is fascinating, yet wholly unbelievable. what exactly, in his previous years and youth, made him to be so indifferent. if Camus wanted to present his philosophy, and actually support it in the character of Meursalt, then the reader should have been given more than what he had written for The Stranger. yes, i know that one of Camus's points is that the world tries to apply rationality to human's natural irrationality, and it seems that i am trying to say that in my statement. but honestly, Meursalt's actions have shown that he doesnt seem human, or Camus has not given us enough information as to how he became the apathetic person he is at the start of the story. the book is rather short. i find his philosophies interesting, however the story was underdeveloped, and his ideas remain partly unsupported...or at least unbelievable in some sense.

>>By tchockyx12   (Saturday, 9 Apr 2005 04:52)

camus a dragué la femme de SATRE, c' est la cause de toute cette dispute :)

>>By camus   (Saturday, 7 Jan 2006 19:02)

Camus' ideas are clearly exposed in "Le Mythe de Sisyphe": the absurd theory, how we're condemned to death, just like Mersault is, and how, just like the character, we're supposed to deny suicide and church and god and the future. Man has nothing but his existence and this mind. There's a divorce between the world and us. That's why Mersault looks so indifferent, so cold, so "strange" - because he has realized life has no sense. However, he's very close to us, 'cause everyone is condemned to death, not for kiiling an arabian, but for being alive. We prefer to forget it, however, and think about the future, instead of seizing every day of our lives.

>>By Gelly   (Monday, 31 Jul 2006 00:53)

Gellly, this is precisely the point and said succinctly as the realization of the truth of the statement. Once one believes this premise, all else becomes less fettered with detail. This is what the Stranger is about.

BTW, I re-read The Stranger in its latest translation. I think the new translation far exceeds the original.

>>By Al C   (Wednesday, 2 Aug 2006 12:57)

"the stranger" really facinates me as a story. the caracter of Meurseaut is quite absurd and reincarnate the absurd man who does not understand the "why" that would determine the reason of his existence. in fact when he justifies his murder by the heat of the sun is quite absurd and makes his situation ludicrous and stupid. another facinating aspect of this character which is a mirror image of the writer is that he does not emanate tha sense of the tragic; in fact he is guilty of calousness. but really what i see great in Camus is the style of writing...his flow-like rhytm and "difficult"simplicity .

>>By the haunted   (Thursday, 17 Aug 2006 00:04)

My thoughts on Camus and The Stranger

There is indeed a grand contradiction placed on consciousness when in those rare moments it reflects on a life lived or that empty promise of a life to come. Camus walked along those star lit roads and kicked around those dusty rocks in the hope to feel better about the sand that was hurting his eyes. He rose above the weight of the world and understood that we all deserve something to sink our teeth into. He, too, cried for clarity and sought many roads but never was there a single route that would grant him some sort of surety.
Meursault then became just that puddle in the road whereat the life of a man can be seen as a catalyst for the development of a feeling which would best be suited for the language of consciousness, or, more importantly, a realism that could be felt by the heart.

>>By ZCoker   (Thursday, 13 Sep 2007 21:24)

i completely disagree with your comment Zcocker and partly yours, the haunted.
first, l'étranger is not a stanger but an outsider! he is not strange, he is "out". he is not crying for anything, he is looking from "outside". he did not understand we deserve to sink our teeth into something but that all of that is just "details". the most import is the biggest thruth: Death. soon or later. he killed but the arab would have die soon or later". he is going to die "au nom du peuple français" (on french people's behalf) which doesn't mean anything BUT it will bring him to something real and true: death. that's all life.
Also he did not understand the why, but the non existence of the "why". he doesn't want to play the game of finding a sense. then he is not a puddle. the others are puddles! he knows. the only moment he feels and we feel him alive it's with the priest. the revolt! nothing to do on earth but "revolt"... but he is doing it against someone who try to bring him back to the game.
his name is also important: Meursault= "diestupid" as a reminder of what we are doing if we are part of "the puddle"

>>By MaxB   (Saturday, 5 Jan 2008 19:25)

Ok, let me interrupt both of you, ZCoker and MaxB, because I don`t really agree with one MaxB thought. You said that the biggest truth for him was death. I totally disagree with this thought, because this arab` death was really not the main point for him. and death on the whole was not the main thing for him. Does he say that we all will die sooner or later? Does he think about death at all? I think that the main thing for him was this, that there are no important things at all in our lives. And it`s not because we will die one day, just because there`s too much absurd in this life. Look how much absurd is in this book. When i realised it, i read it several times more as a comedy. well, firstly, Meursault is so so so indifferent to the whole world. It`s obvious, that he was sent to jail not because of killing that arab, but because he didn`t cry during his mother funeral; and i`m sure that sentence:"you`re guilty and will be executed" sounded like "I brought some milk for you" for Meursault . And while being in that cell, he says that the executed must suffer twice: because of the execution itself and because he is forced to wish that guillotine would be sharp. Isn`t is absurd?
And when the priest talks to him, it`s obvious that Meursault is not in that "system" where the others are. and it is because he understands, he sees what others don`t see: we live in a worls full of absurd.

>>By jagle   (Saturday, 26 Jan 2008 18:23)

I read L'Etranger aka The Outsider in first year French at UVIV in Victoria. I remember how thrilled I was to be able to read and actually comprehend a French novel...and a very intriguing one as well. The first three words Maman est morte still haunt me with the detached feelings that Meursault had for his mother.

>>By Gingko   (Tuesday, 27 May 2008 02:37)

What he understands, as jagle says one way and I say another, is the total random nature of existence.

>>By Al C   (Sunday, 29 Jun 2008 14:41)

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