L'Etranger by Albert Camus
New York : Pantheon Books, 1963. First Hardcover Edition. 171 pages ; 20 cm. Tattered $3.95 dust jacket. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
This is the first clothbound edition of the French text of L'Etranger, a novel which has had an extraordinary impact on readers both here and abroad. Originally published by Pantheon in 1946, it is reissued now for all those wishing a permanent library edition.
Camus's stow of an ordinary man who finds himself caught in a meaningless murder has had a unique influence on all those who have read it. The original French text presented here shows the simple beauty of Camus's almost classic style. For those who have retained their command of French, or those only beginning to learn that language, L'Étranger will be an exciting and moving experience.
Writing about Camus in the January 1950 issue of Esprit, the critic Rachel Bespaloff said: "He is a Mediterranean romantic in his insatiable nostalgia for the finite, the palpable, the boundaries which light cannot touch and which even the night respects, He is so very close to the Latin elegiacs in his lyricism, to the Greek tragedians in his pathos. . . . He is skeptical by temperament, not by his philosophy; skeptical in his role as an artist. He feels himself to be among the heirs of Montaigne and Saint-Evremond. But he is passionate as well, seriously, virilely passionate. He can claim relationship to Corneille and Pascal. Nor must he abjure anything in order to reconcile within himself the teachings of the classics and those of Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov."
Writing in the Nouvelles Littéraires in 1957, the novelist Jules Roy stated: "The exceptional merit of Camus and of his genius is to have incarnated in our eyes humanity in its highest degree, and not just to have been one of the most important writers but also one of the most sensitive and one of the most generous of his timer In his person, North Africa has given birth to a master to whom a long line of writers, of Moslem and of Christian descent, owe their thirst for justice and their love of men and an exigency without limit to themselves."
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