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American Poems: Books: The Stranger
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The Stranger

  • List Price: $26.95
  • Buy New: $20.00
  • as of 7/23/2014 13:36 EDT details
  • You Save: $6.95 (26%)
In Stock
  • Seller:stephy279
  • Sales Rank:1,239,900
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Hardcover
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Edition:Revised Edition
  • Pages:144
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.7
  • Dimensions (in):0.7 x 5.4 x 7.8
  • Publication Date:March 12, 1988
  • ISBN:0394533054
  • EAN:9780394533056
  • ASIN:0394533054
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus's extraordinary first novel, The Stranger (L'Etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus was exploring what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd."

Now, in an illuminating new American translation (the only English version available for more than forty years was done by a British translator), the original intent of The Stranger is made more immediate, as Matthew Ward captures in exact and lucid language precisely what Camus said and how he said it, thus giving this haunting novel a new life for generations to come.

Albert Camus, son of a working-class family, was born in Algeria in 1913. He spent the early years of his life in North Africa, where he worked at Various jobs -- in the weather bureau, in an automobile-accessory firm, in a shipping company -- to help pay for his courses at the University of Algiers. He then turned to journalism as a career. His report on the unhappy state of the Muslims of the Kabylie region aroused the Algerian government to action and brought him public notice. From 1935 to 1938 he ran the Theatre de L'Equipe, a theatrical company that produced plays by Malraux, Gide, Synge, Dostoevski, and others. During World War II he was one of the leading writers of the French Resistance and editor of Combat, then an important underground newspaper. Camus was always very active in the theater, and several of his plays have been published and produced. His fiction, including The Stranger, The Plague, The Fall, and Exile and the Kingdom; his philosophical essays, The Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel; and his plays have assured his preeminent position in modern French letters. In 1957 Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His sudden death on January 4, 1960, cut short the career of one of the most important literary figures of the Western world when he was at the very summit of his powers.
Amazon.com Review
The Stranger is not merely one of the most widely read novels of the 20th century, but one of the books likely to outlive it. Written in 1946, Camus's compelling and troubling tale of a disaffected, apparently amoral young man has earned a durable popularity (and remains a staple of U.S. high school literature courses) in part because it reveals so vividly the anxieties of its time. Alienation, the fear of anonymity, spiritual doubt--all could have been given a purely modern inflection in the hands of a lesser talent than Camus, who won the Nobel Prize in 1957 and was noted for his existentialist aesthetic. The remarkable trick of The Stranger, however, is that it's not mired in period philosophy.

The plot is simple. A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. The trial's proceedings are absurd, a parsing of incidental trivialities--that Meursault, for instance, seemed unmoved by his own mother's death and then attended a comic movie the evening after her funeral are two ostensibly damning facts--so that the eventual sentence the jury issues is both ridiculous and inevitable.

Meursault remains a cipher nearly to the story's end--dispassionate, clinical, disengaged from his own emotions. "She wanted to know if I loved her," he says of his girlfriend. "I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't." There's a latent ominousness in such observations, a sense that devotion is nothing more than self-delusion. It's undoubtedly true that Meursault exhibits an extreme of resignation; however, his confrontation with "the gentle indifference of the world" remains as compelling as it was when Camus first recounted it. --Ben Guterson


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