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Albert Camus - The Outsider

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Meursault is an average joe living in Algeria. His mother dies in a home, but he feels no grief and is undemonstrative at the burial.

The next main episode occurs when he shoots a man at the beach. He is tried and sentenced to death, but on reflection realises that he is no worse off than if he had led a long and 'normal' life.

Far-fetched. The logic of Meursault's philosophy doesn't really hold up. I would have thought that he was suffering from some sort of mental illness than actually facing the realities of life. But maybe that opinion is exactly what Camus was challenging. You would have to read it and judge for yourself.

Interesting, even if you don't agree with the philosophy behind it. 7 out of 10. :)

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I am glad that I managed to find a thread for this book, if slightly dated. I started and finished this book today and I think it's one that will stick with me. It's also the sort of book I feel the need to go and discuss with other people. I felt the same as you - surely the protagonist was suffering from sort of mental illness? Not so much the fact that he didn't have a reaction to his mothers death - that may just come with time. But the fact that he was so impulsive with his actions such as writing that letter for Raymond and of course the shooting.

 

I did like the style of the trial though, and the prosecutors speech aimed at Meursault's lifestyle than his actual crime. Of course we are being judged all the time by our behaviours, but the trial really put everything into perspective. And I think that the ending gave me a bit of hope as well - when there is no meaning, you just find it yourself. That's what we do as humans - we put things into categories, we draw boundaries between behaviours and we look for explanations in everything.

 

 

I've just bought The Fall by Camus which I intend to devour with just as much energy as I did The Outsider. I generally prefer books with a lot of details and metaphors woven throughout, along with in depth characters and well dug out plotlines. Something about Camus's stories really stick out to me though - they make you look at the world around you and question the way you think. I want to grab the person next to me and ask them about the meaning of life and humanity in general! Plus I think it's great that Camus is able to do that to his reader using such a simple writing style.

Edited by Angury

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I love this book. I read it while I was in high school and I can almost still quote it by heard. It was an amaing jorney for me.

I remember that it took me almost a week to read it. I had to stop and think everything I was reading almost at every page.

For me the book gives another perspective that I can undertand. I don't think that I can explain it in a way that some of you will not think that I have to go to asylum.

I don't say that I agree that we sould just start killing people around, but yet again, I think that the book is worth reading at least one time :)

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I don't think that I can explain it in a way that some of you will not think that I have to go to

Please elaborate - I would be interested in hearing your thoughts!

Edited by Angury

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Please elaborate - I would be interested in hearing your thoughts!

Well in my short but still eventful life I have had the chance to feel and not feel a lot for some really close relatives. So I think I can understand the narrator's point of view. I know it sounds crazy a bit, not to love your folks, not to feel anything when you do something horrible, it's cold sociopathy if I am not mistaken, or psychopathy, but yet.....

There are some moments a person's life when you have to either pretend to care, or.... well....

For me this book was something that touched me deeply. I sometimes envy people that cannot feel a thing. Can you imagine that? Not to feel all the hurt, all the sorrow, won't it be much better? Especially if you are surrounded with it?

I don't know if I was able to make anything clear? It's just a lil to personal and complicated, and maybe somehow twisted just to post it on plain view ;)

Don't call the asylum yet, pleaseeeeeeeeee

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I sometimes envy people that cannot feel a thing. Can you imagine that? Not to feel all the hurt, all the sorrow, won't it be much better? Especially if you are surrounded with it?

 

But then you wouldn't feel any joy or happiness either. You wouldn't have any ambition or drive. You wouldn't have any interests, any goals or desires. You'd just be an empty shell.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with not feeling anything for some relatives - I'm the same. It also depends on your history and your relationship with them. It becomes a problem when you don't feel anything for anyone and it begins to affect the way you see people I.e. manipulating others for your own goals without any care about their emotions or feelings.

Edited by Angury

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But then you wouldn't feel any joy or happiness either. You wouldn't have any ambition or drive. You wouldn't have any interests, any goals or desires. You'd just be an empty shell.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with not feeling anything for some relatives - I'm the same. It also depends on your history and your relationship with them. It becomes a problem when you don't feel anything for anyone and it begins to affect the way you see people I.e. manipulating others for your own goals without any care about their emotions or feelings.

Yes, there is that, but when most of your life nobody cared about you and your feelings. And yes there is the moment when you trully become an empty shell but still when most of the things you feel are negative, this alternative is not so frightening. I don't say that it is the right thing to do, I just say that I get it! Well, and that sometimes I envy those type of people. They seen less stressed, and given the fact that there are fewer and fewer moments that I feel really happy, you get my point.

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My only Camus book to date but I loved and certainly felt a connection to Mersault in some way. I often find myself with a disconnection from other people and society with the values and norms that are accepted without any question or reason. I will have to revisit it at some point to try and take a deeper look into the book's character and message as well as his other works.

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