13 votes
Accepted

Why is the tense wrong in the beginning of The Stranger?

I'm not sure if whole books have been written on the topic, but at least whole book chapters have been. I haven't read this book, but I'll share my first impression. One thing to note is that the ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
12 votes

Why does Meursault kill "the Arab" in The Stranger?

Initially, there isn't much. The final words of Part I read this: I wanted to hear the murmur of its water again, to escape from the sum and the effort and the women's tears, and to relax in the ...
Zizouz212's user avatar
  • 476
7 votes
Accepted

Why is Camus asserting that "Marx scientific Messianism" is Bourgeois?

In this chapter, Camus is comparing "the Christian and Marxist world," and finds that the two have much more in common with each other than either does with the "ancient world" – by which he largely ...
TML's user avatar
  • 431
6 votes
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Where did Camus define "the novel as the place where the human being is abandoned to other human beings"?

Albert Camus' essay L'Homme révolté (1951, The Rebel) contains a chapter entitled "Roman et révolte", in which the author says (emphasis mine), Qu’est-ce que le roman, en effet, sinon cet ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
6 votes

Why does Mersault say "Hello image!" to his girlfriend?

So from the context, here's my understanding: A common trend that's observed from a lot of A Happy Death is the treatment of women as mere objects, rather than as human beings. This is portrayed ...
North Læraðr's user avatar
5 votes
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Allusion by Albert Camus to another author

This is conjectural, but just before the passage in question, Camus writes something like We sail across spaces so vast they seem unending. Sun and moon rise and fall in turn, on the same thread of ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 4,135
4 votes

Is Marie's comment based on the existence of a two-tier justice system in French Algeria?

Unfortunately I can't read French, so this answer will be based on secondary research. tl:dr - At this time (and the recent past) there was simply no idea that a single set of laws applied to everyone....
indigochild's user avatar
4 votes

Is Meursault bothered that he doesn't know what day Maman died?

One of the novel's paradoxes is that Camus employs a first-person narration, which normally allows the reader access to the character's inner thoughts and feelings (see e.g. Charlotte Brontë's Jane ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
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What is the significance of the names Mersault and Meursault?

Camus loved the sea and nature generally. His unfinished early novel La Mort heureuse contains a scene in which Patrice Mersault goes swimming in the sea; the scene is described in very sensuous ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
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Did Camus have a known source of inspiration for Meursault's behaviour during and after his mother's funeral?

In Looking for The Stranger (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Alice Kaplan points out (on page 11) that Camus received his philosophy degree at the University of Algiers with a thesis on Plotinus ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
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Did Camus ever say “Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth”?

Almost certainly not. While the quotation is attributed to Camus on many sites, two factors make the attribution dubious: No source is ever provided. The quote is at odds with Camus's well-documented ...
verbose's user avatar
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4 votes
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Seeming contradiction in 'Absurdity and Suicide' (The Myth of Sisyphus)

tl;dr The apparent contradiction is of a piece with the "absurd reasoning" that Camus deploys in the essay. Introduction: The absurdity of existence The starting point of The Myth of ...
verbose's user avatar
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3 votes

Did Camus ever say “Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth”?

Possibly, this is a misrepresentation of something Camus wrote in L'Homme révolté: Si l'individu, en effet, accepte de mourir, et meurt à l'occasion, dans le mouvement de sa révolte, il montre par là ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
3 votes

Why would not giving money to the poor qualify a person as a Sadducee?

The answer to my question is probably much more straightforward than the two previous answers suggest. According to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, the Sadducees believed that there were "no ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes

Why is the tense wrong in the beginning of The Stranger?

In 1946, Stuart Gilbert translated the novel's first sentence as “Mother died today” instead of “Mother has died today”. Since "today" implies a time frame that is not yet closed, you would ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
3 votes

What did Camus mean by "the odd vegetation of those distant regions" in "The Myth of Sisyphus"?

It's a metaphor for philosophical space. In many languages, including French and English, a new area (itself a metaphor) of study or thought of conceived of in spatial or physical terms. You see this ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 1,037
2 votes

Is Meursault bothered that he doesn't know what day Maman died?

TL;DR: Yes he is bothered that he doesn't know which day his mother died. But only slightly, and not nearly as much as he is saddened by her death. Rather than rewriting most of it, here's my answer ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
2 votes

Why would Maman ask for a religious burial?

During the first half of the 20th century, 90% of the French were Catholics and 95% of burials in France were religious burials (Wikipédia: Église catholique en France). Assuming that Catholicism and ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
2 votes

Is Marie's comment based on the existence of a two-tier justice system in French Algeria?

The legal status of the Algerian "Arabs", as they are called in L'Étranger, in the 1930s was the result of various laws, decrees and ordonnances that had come into force since the French ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
2 votes

What is Meursault's problem with the heat?

The three parts of the book where the heat is most oppressive are all connected with death. These are the last few pages of the first chapter, which describe the funeral procession for Meursault's ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes
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What does Camus mean by this sentence?

I haven't read this book and I may be wrong as I don't know the whole context but reading out the sentence, I can interpret it as: Everthing is temporary. There is a simple yet powerful statement "...
Skaranjit's user avatar
  • 136
2 votes

What does Camus mean by "the disastrous fact that love and desire must be expressed in the same way"?

The original French text is: Jusqu’ici chaque fois que Mersault avait lié avec une femme les premiers gestes qui engagent, conscient du malheur qui veut que l’amour et le désir s’expriment de la ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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2 votes
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On a quote of Hegel in L'été (Summer) of Camus

As far as I know, the city (German: Stadt) is not an important concept in Hegel's philosophy. However, the state (German: Staat) is an important concept, especially in his Elements of the Philosophy ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
2 votes

Why is the tense wrong in the beginning of The Stranger?

The first sentence, in French, contains an ambiguity about time which can't be translated into English. The original line is: "Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Où peut-être hier, je ne sais pas." In ...
Lizilu's user avatar
  • 425
2 votes

Why does Meursault kill "the Arab" in The Stranger?

There are two main approaches to finding an explanation to the killing of the Arab. One is based on the novel's meaning (i.e. looking beyond character analysis); another approach looks beyond over ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
2 votes

In which interview did Camus say that Meursault is the only Christ we deserved?

I couldn't find if it really comes from a 1955 interview or not, but Camus wrote such a claim in his Preface to The Stranger (January 1955), available here in English translation (emphasis mine): ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes

Meaning of «Ah! les Bazaine» in La chute / The Fall

Even though only François Achille Bazaine was accused of treason (and sentenced for it), it appears that his family name became a synonym for treason. Bazaine surrendered an army of 180,000 to the ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
2 votes
Accepted

What does Albert Camus mean with "they remembered pleasure"?

The contrast with religion is the key to it. At the beginning, they thought it was an ordinary sort of sickness and turned to prayer in hopes of warding it off. When that does not work, though, and ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 6,035

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