Maybe an eleven minute long homage to 80's sitcoms starring a bearded psychopath? Or how about a platypus have you ever really looked at one? Okay—try this absurd tidbit on for size: a man loses his mom, murders a dude on a beach, and is sentenced to death.
The Stranger () - IMDb
This charming guy shoots and kills a man, Johnny Cash-style , just to watch him die. But this ain't just a feel-bad book about a cold-blooded seaside murder.
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Camus uses all the events leading up to the shooting and Meursault's subsequent trial, and prison sentence to explore issues of meaning and meaninglessness in life. In other words, Camus's book is about Philosophy with a capital P. So who was this Camus guy, anyway? But don't go saying that Camus was an existentialist—having his philosophical musings pegged as existentialism was a huge pet peeve of Camus' back when he was alive and channeling Humphrey Bogart.
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Starting on The Stranger is a good call: Camus' later novels kept getting more complex… which is not to say that The Stranger is lightweight. After all, it explores a philosophy that states that the world is devoid of all rational meaning. But at least one absolutely rational decision came about because of Camus' scribblings.
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In the Nobel Prize Committee gave him the Nobel Prize for Literature for his generally "important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times. And once you read The Stranger , you'll understand that handing Camus the big daddy of all literary prizes is the exact opposite of absurdity. What do you have in common with Meursault, the murderous, semi-sociopathic, unlikeable, unloving, chain-smoking, detached, sun-averse protagonist of The Stranger?
Camus wrote The Stranger from a place of tragedy and suffering. Camus had also witnessed mistreatment of native Algerians during the French occupation of Algeria , which had begun in the first half of the 19th century and, after World War I, was opposed by a growing nationalist movement. The murder has been read by some as a metaphor for the treatment of Algerian Muslims by the colonizing French. Camus published The Stranger at a time when Algerians were demanding political autonomy with increased forcefulness; although France did extend some rights during the s, ongoing conflicts and failed French promises of more independence culminated in the outbreak of the Algerian War in You are using an outdated browser.
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Actually, we're sure of it. But we're equally sure that you—like all of us—have felt weird moments of questioning and detachment. We're talking about everything from those terrifying midnight episodes where you stare at the ceiling and think, "What does it all mean? Is that me? Those moments are weird, and you feel weird within them. Or, to put it another way: life is pretty strange, and you often feel like a stranger The Stranger , in fact within it.
Yes, Meursault is a guy who is emotionally incapable, socially unaware, and understands relationships only in the context of the physical.
He's like Sherlock Holmes or Lisbeth Salander , but weirder and not a detective. But this stranger is also an introspective philosophical rebel.
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And the philosophy that he and Camus promote—the philosophy of absurdism —states that the world is so nonsensical, so absurd, that you can't expect to find meaning in it anywhere. There's no logic, no rationale, no governing order. That might sound kind of insane and super lonely to you. But that, friends, is exactly the point. Absurdism doesn't say "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This philosophical stance isn't everyone's cup of tea or mouthful of lemon pulp.
But it can be useful, when faced with the hyper-bizarre stuff that life can lob in your direction, to be able to think, "Huh.