The Stranger by Albert CAMUS
I read for you The Stanger (Albert Camus – 1947)
The stranger, that one knows only by name (MEURSAULT), is a french Algierian, leading a life of average office worker, boring, in any area of the algerian capital.
He seems to serve his life, a life he has not chosen, a life without relief, without emotion, almost mechanical.
The death of his mother is like a simple disorder: how will he announce his absence to his boss ? is the only question that disturbs him.
Absurdity of life
He is thirty years old, perhaps the age when we are finally registered in time, where we cease to believe in immortalaty, the age when we begin to question in vain the meaning of life. He lets people choose in his place. Mary asks him for marriage… If she wants. He does not care. He seems totaly detached to the world, coolly taking stock of the tasks. On Sunday ? He did not like, as if the empty weekend referred in his face the absurdity of life: a series of constraints to solve aimlessly business, without purpose; a sequence that will end with the death of the subject.
In the second part of the novel, he is tried for the murder of an Arab. »it was because of the sun… » He should be the main subject of the trial, but no one seems to pay attention to him. Is he stranger to himself ? His trial is like a moovie taht he sees on a cinema screen, as if these jurors, this president and his lawyer are actors, and he, the only spectator. « What’s all this? « He seems to think.
One has the feeling to live before the hour, the Nausea of Sartre aback by the world projected before his eyes ; a world that is imposed and which stubbornly refuses to deliver hir secretr purpose ; Sartre who realizes that the park, the tree roots have no purpose and are dizzy.
Meursault is condemned. This was probably be. It has nothing to add. But man rebelled when a clergyman has to propose to borrow the reassuring ways of the Beyond. The Rebel rejects the other world. He decided to live fully the absurdity of life. He becomes free because he now knows his condition lucidly. Nietzsche would not have said something else. The only freedom of man is to accept his destiny and reject false-hopes offered by the back-worlds fanatics.
We are free when we consent to our destiny. Amor Fati.