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By Harold Bloom

Albert Camus's landmark existentialist novel lines the aftermath of a stunning crime and the fellow whose destiny is sealed with one rash and foolhardy act. The Stranger provides readers with a brand new form of protagonist, a guy not able to go beyond the tedium and inherent absurdity of daily lifestyles in a global detached to the struggles and strivings of its human denizens. entire with an creation from grasp literary student Harold Bloom, this new version of full-length severe essays contains a chronology, bibliography, and index for simple reference.

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Extra resources for Albert Camus's the Stranger (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)

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21 22 ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET as a gratuitous mutilation, the blind folly of a young rebel, a kind of sterile despair leading to the destruction of art nonetheless seemed quite in order. More unexpected, more disturbing, was the position—identical, from many points of view—of certain materialists who, in order to judge my enterprise, referred to “values” remarkably similar to the traditional values of Christianity. Yet for them there was no question of a confessional parti pris. ” Finally I was quite naive, it was said, to attempt to deny this depth: my own books were interesting, were readable, only to the degree—and the degree was disputed—to which they were, unknown to me, its expression.

Taking a closer look, we realize that the anthropocentric analogies (mental or visceral) are not the only ones to be arraigned. All analogies are just as dangerous. And perhaps the most dangerous ones of all are the most secret, those in which man is not named. Let us give some examples, at random. To discover the shape of a horse in the heavens may, of course, derive from a simple process of description and not be of any consequence. But to speak of the “gallop” of the clouds, or of their “flying mane,” is no longer entirely innocent.

It is clear that Meursault’s initial mental attitude proves inadequate to cope with even the simplest of lives. The very essence of l’absurde in his case is that out of indifference he linked forces with violence and death, not with love and life. Like Parsifal in the legend of the Fisher-King he fails to ask any question and thereby gravely errs. In L’Etranger Camus thus suggests that in the face of the absurd no man can afford passively just to exist. To fail to question the meaning of the spectacle of life is to condemn both ourselves, as individuals, and the whole world to nothingness.

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