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By Harold Bloom

Albert Camus's landmark existentialist novel lines the aftermath of a surprising crime and the fellow whose destiny is sealed with one rash and foolhardy act. The Stranger offers readers with a brand new form of protagonist, a guy not able to go beyond the tedium and inherent absurdity of daily life in a global detached to the struggles and strivings of its human denizens. entire with an creation from grasp literary student Harold Bloom, this re-creation of full-length serious essays encompasses 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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A few scholars have remarked the kinship without analyzing it at length. Direct influence can be ruled out, since Camus read Billy Budd after having written L’Etranger. Thus we are left very much in the clear with something suggestive to assay. The evident value of comparing the independent approach of two major authors to a similar theme is here augmented by the fact that the significance of both works remains in dispute. The two narratives turn on the same, essentially equivocal situation. From one point of view, a real crime, not of passion or premeditation, but of impulse, is described as an innocent action.

The exact opposite hold for Meursault. The trial focuses not on his deed but on the purported insensitivity and moral depravity of every part of his life. And, unlike Billy, he changes. The unpremeditated and fateful shooting, plus the ritualized trial, conspire to capsize Meursault’s inner equilibrium. The change in his state of being can be detected in the narrative style which, totally unlike that of Billy Budd, appears at first to be restricted to the hero’s immediate sensations recorded without the categories of civilized living.

This nature, moreover, does not merely belong to man, since it constitutes the link between his mind and things: it is, in fact, an essence common to all “creation” that we are asked to believe in. The universe and I now have only one soul, only one secret. 26 ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET Belief in a nature thus reveals itself as the source of all humanism, in the habitual sense of the word. And it is no accident if Nature precisely—mineral, animal, vegetable Nature—is first of all clogged with an anthropomorphic vocabulary.

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