Posted in Books, Letters

The Stranger is the Stranger….

The Stranger is a slim read, but I found it confusing. Supposedly, Sartre thought it a profoundly silly book, the equivalent of reporting on a soccer match with the words “I saw adults in shorts fighting and throwing themselves on the ground in order to send a leather ball between two wooden posts.” I feel similarly, and I would go a step further: I’m not certain that the verdict is wrong. Meursault does come off as a bit of a sociopath, not because he doesn’t cry for his mother, but because he doesn’t cry, and seems incapable of crying, for anything. He does not care about anything or anyone. The crime committed seems to have no purpose, but it occurs anyway, because Meursault doesn’t care enough to understand how to avert it. Which doesn’t mean I can’t see the absurdity of the “evidence” thrown against him, but I cannot escape the impression that I have wandered, not inside the head of a fellow human, but in some other kind of being who knew how to ape some human behaviors. Crimes of passion committed this dispassionately beggar verisimilitude.

Author:

I write and publish things with the speed of a hare and the determination of a tortoise. I am building it; it will come.

2 thoughts on “The Stranger is the Stranger….

  1. The Stranger was presented as a book reading on a radio station way back when, and I found myself satirising the narrator’s style. ‘I think I’ll go to the men’s room – though I don’t really care if I go or not.’
    It was read by the actor who played Jim Goose in the first Mad Max movie, if that means anything to anyone. He did it pretty well.

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