Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Joy of Camus

Posted by Simon Halliday | Friday, June 23, 2006 | Category: |

I started reading Albert Camus' The Outsider (L'Etranger) last night. It was incredibly beautiful when I started it, but I was simply too tired to read it (although intending to have an early night I ended up going to sleep probably around 1:30am).

Anyway, I was reading it this morning, but I realised I had to go off and run errands. So I took it with me to Cavendish. I started some of my errands, stopped for coffee at Vida and then I promptly finished the book. I couldn't help myself – it accelerated into absolute (yes this is a funny term to apply to the book) brilliance.

Having finished the story and having read the afterword by Camus I was stunned. I simply sat lopsided in my stool for about five minutes. Realised someone had noticed me and I got up. I was quite unfocused. I wondered around Cavendish in a jubilant daze, struck with both the horror and the glory of the book. It was an astonishing read, so valid. I immediately understood why he had received the Nobel at such a young age (as far as I know (and I haven't researched this properly) he was one of the youngest authors to receive the Nobel for Literature).

I don't think that everyone will have as vivid or as tumultuous a response to this book as I did (although many people claim it as one of their favourites I have been told). It is a remarkable book and deserves to be read, it could easily be read in an afternoon. I will read it again. Undoubtedly. I have this craving to read more of his work. I went into Exclusives and bought the plague, but I am going to force myself not to read it because I want to derive as much enjoyment from the reading of it, separate from The Outsider as I did from The Outsider.

I am not going to go into why I loved it so much, I will simply sponsor it as an incredible work of art and hope that my support of it will get you to read it. I know that many will dislike it, even be disgusted by it (not that there is much aesthetically wrong with it as far as I can tell), Afterwards, we can discuss it, think about it, chat, whatever. Just give it a read, it's only 118 pages.



Currently have 2 comments:

  1. Hey shoo wow, candle scent suppliers, you really know how to turn on the charm.

    Yeah, The Outsider is awesome, innit. Didn't Camus describe Mersault as the only true Christ (or was it 'crisis') the world had ever known? Hmm.

    Camus was the goodness, too. What a writer. There's a cool pic of him with a cigarette floating around on the net somewhere...