Étranger, L’

I read this on 19 March with Duchess of Aquitaine. It is a short read, but I was wrong about one thing:

I enjoyed it. I think that in college the professor hammered Existentialism as a concept with which I heavily disagree, and with which I have an innate reaction to ignore: I learn by grazing, and not by cramming. In another way, I learn the opposite way from which I eat.

The juxtaposition of how the man faces death with how ‘one should’ is beautiful. So many novels experience death by numbers — like paint by numbers –, and it comes across inauthentic. As a death-addict, I have seen the gambit: this man is not a horrid person for not crying at his mother’s funeral.

Bonus points for using one of my favourite French words ‘jacasser’.

Truthfully, my French was better than I thought that it would be, but not as proficient as it should be to read as minutely as a classic would require. I must practice more before attempting The Count of Monte Cristo, or the ilk.

He did use one of my least favourite constructions about which I have had many a French editors argue amongst themselves: commencer à versus commencer de. I adore the sound of ‘commencer de’: it is pure euphony for me.

The question of concerning the death penalty is quite intriguing. Camus does not seem to be heavy-handed one way, or another; contrarily, he is more concerned with the social way of expressing death penalty as opposed to the individual’s expression. I enjoyed it quite a lot.

8.5/10 would read again

Be safe. Be loved. Also, be wary of those who tell one how to grieve.

J.A. Victor Wilson

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