The Stranger by Albert Camus is a very short novel that can easily be read in an afternoon. However, digesting the content will certainly take much longer as this little novel raises serious questions about morality, society, justice, religion, and individuality. The Stranger is recounted in first person is a very direct, no nonsense style.
Yes, I like ceilings, and the high better than the low.
In literature I think there are low-ceiling masterpieces— Crime and Punishmentfor instance—and high-ceiling masterpieces, Remembrance of Things Past. Its place in the literary canon is secure. Nonetheless, the question remains: How great is Crime and Punishment? Nothing more than a finely crafted crime story?
All across the country, museum exhibits, stage-plays, and all sorts of commemorations marked the th anniversary of its publication. But this year marks the th anniversary of Crime and Punishment, and unfortunately, much less is being done to celebrate the birth of this monumental novel.
This is most likely due to the fact that, while Alice is obviously very lovable, Crime and Punishment is disturbing, challenging, and rather difficult to commemorate, let alone celebrate. But while comparing Crime and Punishment to Alice and Wonderland is as ridiculous as comparing Tchaikovsky to Charlie Parker, Crime and Punishment is the more urgent novel for us in our day and age; it not only is a great work of art, but is also a novel with a vital message for us in our peculiar time in history.
Raskolnikov is also young, but he is no Alice. He is a destitute student who wears rags, hardly gets enough to eat, and lives a meager life in the squalid slums of St.
He is given to bouts of depression, hypochondria, monomania, and is isolated, alienated, and easily irritated—can there be any doubt that the subject he is a studying is law? And this squalid St. Petersburg is obviously no wonderland.
But while the virtuous Sammler tries to end the criminal adventures of an elegant pickpocket artist on a Manhattan bus by calling the police, Raskolnikov tries to end the miserly existence of an old, odious pawnbroker by murdering her.
Sammler commits an act of futility; Raskolnikov commits an act of terrorism.
Dostoevsky wrote this magnum opus at the time when Europe was just beginning to witness the widespread questioning of religion.
Darwin, Marx, and not too much later, Freud, would help usher in the modern secular age. Burgeoning scientific and historical awareness, as well as increasingly confident radical philosophers and theologians, were beginning to question all the old societal shibboleths and religious certainties; everything that once seemed so sure and firm—Judeo-Christian morality, in particular—now seemed so uncertain and weak.
What would become of a society without religion, and without the millennia-old moral values which formed its bedrock? What would become of humanity in a world that would soon lose its moral center but without yet having formulated a new morality?
Dostoevsky dreamt up a terrifying scenario of such a world, and plants this prophetic dream in the sleeping mind of the monomaniacal Raskolnikov.
Early in the novel, Raskolnikov dreams that he was back in the quaint, formerly pious village of his childhood. In his hometown, there is a tavern next to the church. Next to the tavern, Raskolnikov sees a group of peasants on a horse-drawn cart. The cart is being pulled by an old, poor, beaten-down horse.
The horse is having great difficulty pulling the men on the cart forward, and the owner of the horse urges the men to beat the horse. They begin to do so, and the horse only struggles further, but instead of letting up, the owner barbarically urges the men to beat the horse even more.
An awful spectacle unfolds: Nietzsche was so overcome with emotion that he ran over to the horse, hugged it, and broke down in tears.
Shortly thereafter, he suffered a nervous breakdown, and was never entirely sane again. He died in Dostoevsky thus eerily prophesized a frightening event in the life of the most frightening prophetic philosopher of early modernity.
For both Nietzsche and Dostoevsky, the beating of the horse was a burning bush: It was a moment of revelation, a terrible, numinous sight which encapsulated and ushered in a new non-religious order, a terrifying world in which man had killed the morality—and the religion that lay at the foundation of this morality—which had carried him for two thousand years, without having yet procured a new horse of morality to carry him forward.
Crime and Punishment influenced everyone from the Great Tradition writers like Henry James and Joseph Conrad to existentialist-absurdist writers like Albert Camus and even comedic filmmakers who dabble in existentialism like Woody Allen.
Indeed, Crime and Punishment is also a critical crie de coeur against the evils of terrorism. Do not think, says Dosteovsky, that violence can be justified by arguments based on virtue: Kill her, take her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of humanity and the good of all.
What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? For one life thousands would be saved from corruption and decay.Buy The Stranger Reprint by Albert Camus, Matthew Ward (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store.
Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible iridis-photo-restoration.coms: L’Étranger (The Outsider [UK], or The Stranger [US]) is a novel by French author Albert Camus.
Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of Camus's philosophy of the absurd and existentialism, though Camus personally rejected the latter label. The Outsider () (previously translated from the French, L’Étranger, as The Stranger) is Albert Camus’s most widely known work, and expounds his early understanding of Absurdism, as well as a variety of other philosophical concepts.
I discussed the novel on a superficial level in my recent review, and this will provide an overview of the work .
Nihilism. Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.
A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. “There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the first moment, before a word is spoken,” writes Dostoevsky in "Crime and Punishment." And such is the impression made upon us by Dosteovsky’s incredible psychological masterpiece (essay by Daniel Ross Goodman).
The Character of Meursault in The Stranger Albert Camus wrote The Stranger during the Existentialist movement, which explains why the main character in the novel, Meursault, is characterized as detached and emotionless, two of the aspects of existentialism.