Camus and Taxonomy

The Stranger

Camus and Taxonomy One of the mailing lists I’m attached to had a free book by Will Self. I quickly downloaded the text and opened it up in iBooks. Time came around and I figured I would read the text, as I’ve been fond of a number of Will Self’s novels. British, I think, a walker, an organized author, and deftly amusing narratives at times, I looked forward to The Quantity Theory of Insanity.

The opening, though, made me think of that French author from Algiers, Albert Camus, and I have a copy of several of his shorter works, most important, The Stranger. There was definite resonance with the opening of both books, so I paused the Will Self novel and re-read The Stranger.

I don’t recall reading the The Stranger, but I have class notes that proved, at one time, I did. Then, I had a copy of it, floating around, a 1988 reprint, means I do have a slim copy.

One of my language (French) professors suggested that my level of French language comprehension, I could have — at the time — easily read something like “The Stranger” in the original.

I was intrigued, about halfway through, curious as to the word count for the novel. A quick search turned up no useful information, just more copies of high-school/undergraduate essay-farms with papers about symbolism, meaning, and I didn’t want my own interpretations hampered by other ideas.

Word count, all I wanted. Curious, that’s all.

Never did find a word count, but I would be sorely put out trying to prevent plagiarism these days with cut and paste “term paper mills.”

Probably from Wiki, but I’m not completely sure, Camus himself would not wear the mantle of the title I was told was his: existentialist. Apparently, he renounced it.

But who can trust anything they read on the inter-webs?

    “Well, it’s like this,’ began Mother. ‘When you die you go and live in another part of London

    And that’s it.”

Excerpt From: Self, Will. “The Quantity Theory of Insanity.” Vintage Books.

“To live with the gods.” And to do that is to show them that your soul accepts what is given and does what spirit require — the spirit God gave each of us to lead and hide in us, a fragment of himself. Which is our mind, our logos.
Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations,” Book V, #27

“We have to give medication. Why? Because without it we couldn’t calm down our patients enough to actually talk to them and find out what the matter is. However, once we’ve medicated them they’re often too displaced to be able to tell us anything useful. Catch-22.”

Excerpt From: Self, Will. The Quantity Theory of Insanity.” Vintage Books, page 48.

Sisyphus

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