Alternate titles: “L’Étranger”, “The Outsider”
The Stranger, enigmatic first novel by Albert Camus, published in French as L’Étranger in 1942. It was published in England as The Outsider.
The title character of The Stranger is Meursault, who is sentenced to death ostensibly for shooting a man whom he had never met but perhaps more so, it is suggested, for his inability to dissemble, to experience conventional modes of feeling, or to conform to society’s requirements. Meursault appears listless, emotionally detached from his heretofore uneventful life; his anomie is caught in the novel’s famous opening lines: “Mother died today, or maybe it was yesterday.” The shooting, which occurs midway through the novel, is an experience that opens Meursault to gradual self-awareness.
The Stranger 2017. Britannica School.
While in wartime Paris, Camus developed his philosophy of the absurd. A major component of this philosophy was Camus’s assertion that life has no rational or redeeming meaning. The experience of World War II led many other intellectuals to similar conclusions. Faced with the horrors of Hitler’s Nazi regime and the unprecedented slaughter of the War, many could no longer accept that human existence had any purpose or discernible meaning. Existence seemed simply, to use Camus’s term, absurd.
The Stranger, Camus’s first novel, is both a brilliantly crafted story and an illustration of Camus’s absurdist world view. Published in 1942, the novel tells the story of an emotionally detached, amoral young man named Meursault. He does not cry at his mother’s funeral, does not believe in God, and kills a man he barely knows without any discernible motive. For his crime, Meursault is deemed a threat to society and sentenced to death. When he comes to accept the “gentle indifference of the world,” he finds peace with himself and with the society that persecutes him.
Overall, existentialism is the search for the meaning of life; what is it to exist as a unique person? Existentialists believe that the meaning of life is sought through individual choices, free will, and personal freedom. Neither scientific thinking—including psychology—nor moral thinking can fully explain what it is to be human. Existentialists unite under several common themes:
"Existentialism." Gale Student Resources in Context, Gale, 2012. Research in Context
Albert Camus, (born November 7, 1913, Mondovi, Algeria—died January 4, 1960, near Sens, France), French novelist, essayist, and playwright, best known for such novels as L’Étranger (1942; The Stranger), La Peste (1947; The Plague), and La Chute (1956; The Fall) and for his work in leftist causes. He received the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Albert Camus 2017. Britannica School.
Camus, Albert [Image]. Encyclopædia Britannica.
In this talk, Linh Do asks some important questions: What is normal? And how abnormal do we have to be to effect social change?
Links to interesting websites, articles etc.