Tuesday, 23 June 2009

To Be Or Not To Be

Finished The Outsider by Albert Camus.

This novel is considered to be one of the classic existentialist pieces of literature. I would agree with that consideration, to be sure.

It's strange, but I actually finished this book fairly quickly, but found it difficult to muster up the energy and drive to write about it. I would say that Camus definitely succeeded in making me not care very much - how odd that a novel can have such an effect.

Meursault (the protagonist) lives life for the moment - not because he is ill or a thrill-seeker, but because it's just the way life is to be lived for him. He cares nothing for the past, present or future. Life is what it is to him; he chooses to glide through it, untouched by anything, including the death of his mother.

This lack of emotion expressed by Meursault isn't due to his callousness or coldness; it is just who he is. He just....is.

The novel is, despite the main character's static being, quietly moving and beautifully detailed. Passion is there to be had, but just not by Meursault. Interesting.

Next up: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. My first foray into Faulknerian Americana.

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