I started reading this book knowing nothing about Albert Camus, beginning with the fact that this book was “just there” in an ‘old books’ garage sale. NZD$5, it was a bargain, I’ve heard about it before, so I gave it a try. No need to remind you that I had wee pockets when I was in New Zealand, so this was quite “an investment”.
While I was going page after page the story dragged me in, I mean, the main character, Meaursault, an Algerian, shares nothing with our culture, he is simply not following our same patterns of happiness, grief nor love. The story starts when he learns that his mum has died, and instead of showing sadness he just sits in front of the coffin, smokes a cigarette and drinks some coffee.
When he was questioned about this, he doesn’t answer, he either finds others annoying, interesting or he feels nothing for them. He does explain to the reader that he was pleased that his mum has passed the way, as she had a good long life and had the chance to share her last years with a good man whom she met at the retirement home.
Why did I find this book interesting?
Well, Meaursault, the main character, is totally indifferent to his environment; however, he keeps an honest man. In the end, he is regarded as an outsider to society, detached from what is supposed to be “normal”. This happens to me sometimes, and I’m sure it happens to all of us, specially you over there, aye, the hipster looking guy eating sushi.
The moral of this bloody post, sorry, no recipes nor funny tales today, is that we seem indifferent to what happens really close to us and keep a good eye on important events out of our sphere of influence. The Royal Baby is a good example of this, how many of us were following the story and at the same time neglecting child mortality or poverty among us?
Give this book a try, and go for “La Chute” as well, another brilliant example of French literature written by Camus himself.
Ps. I’m going to Monterrey, Mexico today to visit my good old mates. Remember, surround yourself with good people and keep in touch, have a great weekend folks.