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L'Étranger (French) Mass Market Paperback – Aug 24 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: GALLIMARD (ÉDITIONS); New edition edition (Aug. 24 1999)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 2070360024
  • ISBN-13: 978-2070360024
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 1.3 x 11 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Condamné à mort, Meursault. Sur une plage algérienne, il a tué un Arabe. À cause du soleil, dira-t-il, parce qu'il faisait chaud. On n'en tirera rien d'autre. Rien ne le fera plus réagir : ni l'annonce de sa condamnation, ni la mort de sa mère, ni les paroles du prêtre avant la fin. Comme si, sur cette plage, il avait soudain eu la révélation de l'universelle équivalence du tout et du rien. La conscience de n'être sur la terre qu'en sursis, d'une mort qui, quoi qu'il arrive, arrivera, sans espoir de salut. Et comment être autre chose qu'indifférent à tout après ça ?

Étranger sur la terre, étranger à lui-même, Meursault le bien nommé pose les questions qui deviendront un leitmotiv dans l'oeuvre de Camus. De La Peste à La Chute, mais aussi dans ses pièces et dans ses essais, celui qui allait devenir Prix Nobel de littérature en 1957 ne cessera de s'interroger sur le sens de l'existence. Sa mort violente en 1960 contribua quelque peu à rendre mythique ce maître à penser de toute une génération. --Karla Manuele

From the Back Cover

Quand la sonnerie a encore retenti, que la porte du box s'est ouverte, c'est le silence de la salle qui est monté vers moi, le silence, et cette singulière sensation que j'ai eue lorsque j'ai constaté que le jeune journaliste avait détourné les yeux. Je n'ai pas regardé du côté de Marie. Je n'en ai pas eu le temps parce que le président m'a dit dans une forme bizarre que j'aurais la tête tranchée sur une place publique au nom du peuple français...

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By H. Georges on June 28 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
L'histoire est plutôt bien, pas trop ennuyante. Elle est très courte. On découvre l'absurdité de la vie à travers le personnage de Meursault. Le livre est beaucoup mieux que la peste.
C'est écrit simplement car Camus fait comme si c'était Meursault qui nous racontait l'histoire et celui-ci est plutôt simple.
Je conseille de le lire en français c'est mieux.
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By Friederike Knabe TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 18 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In his Introduction to the first American edition of THE STRANGER (1955), Albert Camus summarized his novel in one sentence: "In our society, anybody who does not cry at his mother's funeral, risks to be sentenced to death".*) After publication in 1942 in France, the novel achieved notoriety and a kind of cult status for several generations of Camus readers, and was inspiration for philosophers and writers. Re-reading the novel now, forty years since first delving into Camus' writing, I find it as deeply affecting and thought provoking as then. With the hindsight of close to seventy years since it was written, THE STRANGER is not only a self-portrait of an "outsider", who appears to be drifting through life without aim or emotional depth. It is also a harsh critique of a society, reflected in the justice system, that is rigid and controlling and, by extension, overly judgemental towards anybody who is not "playing the game" or respecting "the mechanisms of society". Finally, it is also important to keep in mind that the novel was conceived during the devastating war in which Camus, although not in military service, was a politically highly active participant.

The novel opens with "Today, Maman is dead. Or maybe she died yesterday, I don't know". Meursault, the son and narrator of the story, travels to the nursing home for his mother's wake and funeral the next day. In short, simple sentences he describes the bare facts, the people he meets. Feelings? None, apparently. He doesn't even recall his mother's age. He returns home, meets a former colleague of his and embarks on an affair with her. Life returns to its habitual banality until he is approached by a neighbour for assistance with writing a letter.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this masterpiece in French, but would not insult the crystalline clarity of Camus' prose by attempting a review in the same tongue. Indeed, a review of such a classic is pointless; all that is possible is a personal reaction.

I found myself held in horrified fascination as Meursault sleepwalks through the burial of his mother, his job in Algiers, his girlfriend's embraces, and his neighbor's scheme to teach his own mistress a lesson, all under the heat of the desert sun. Even had I not known in advance, I could feel that something bad was about to happen, and it was almost a relief when it did. At least then there would be time to seek some meaning in such a barren life.

The meaning comes in the penultimate paragraph when Meursault rails at the priest who visits him in his condemned cell. In a long diatribe, filled with a passion that had been missing in the book so far, the young man proclaims that, compared to the uncertainties of religion, he at least has lived in the surety that the life he has lived from moment to moment has been his and his alone, and that the one validating certainty is the death that comes to us all. Dark though it may be, this comes across as a triumphant cry of self-possession. Camus has written that Meursault is the man who can only tell the truth, who has never mastered the little lies that the rest of us use daily to simplify our social lives. Unwilling to play the game, he remains the outsider, the Stranger. The last word in the book is "haine" -- the hatred he expects from those come to watch his execution; Meursault wears it as a medal of honor.

All the way through my reading, I felt my intellectual responses kicking in.
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By A Customer on Jan. 1 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all,can I tell you this is my all-time favourite novel. Camus died ten years before I was born but reads a hundred years more modern than many writers I've read who were born decades later.
The Mersault of this novel is not the ponderous but very clever eejit of the earlier version, A Happy Death. Mersault this time is a clipped, direct, yin-yang mofo who knows the difference between what sucks and what rocks, until of course that fateful hot-knife escapade on the beachIf you want to read this in French, do so even if you think your comprehension level is less than expert. It's poetry. It will get you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Nelson on April 30 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not quite to the end of the book yet, but so far I love it. It's the only book I've been required to read for class that I actually enjoy reading.
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By Stephanie Longo on June 29 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was great. I had to read it for a French class and was warned that it was quite depressing. I found it depressing in some areas, but Camus has a style of writing that made me want to keep going. Meursault is not the typical hero of a book because of his seeming lack of compassion, but because of that he made the book interesting. This book, as well as La Peste, made me want to read more of Camus' works
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