The Plague (Essential.penguin)
7 journalers for this copy...
This for me wasn't an easy read, at times it felt over long and laborious but think this was Camus using his skill to help the reader experience some of the enuii of being caught in the Plague experience. I was surprised how much I sympathized with the characters in the concluding chapters.
The story itself could be taken on a very basic level but reading it I felt constantly drawn to draw comparisons with the experiences Camus would have had as a resistance fighter in france under the Nazis. I feel that his ending certainly makes us wonder whether the plague was a disease of the soul or the body. Perhaps both, but I err to the side of the soul. I would love to discuss this in more detail and will recommend it to my reading groups but am avoiding too many spoilers.
Finally, I want to discuss the 'piece de la resistance' of the novel. It was chapter 6 of part 4 of the novel. Tarrou's unburdening of himself is near as a perfect way to say what I feel about the subject of capital punishment and the campaigning I do on this subject. For these mere 13 pages I would have given the Nobel to Camus without a second thought. As though he had looked inside my heart and written what he saw.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Off it flies to geetheflea with apologies for the delay.
Have heard 'The Outsider' is a good read so will definitely read that know I know I like Camus' style.
One passage I particularly liked for the last sentence:
'...then gradually the rats began to appear again in numbers that went on increasing throughout the day. People out at night would often feel underfoot the squelchy roundness of a still warm body. It was as if the earth on which our houses stood were being purged of its secreted humours - thrusting up to the surface the abscesses and pus-clots that had been forming in its entrails.'
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Off to Brunton11!
I was pleasantly surprised at how accessible this book was and found it a fascinating read. The first 50 pages or so set the scene so well that I wondered where on earth Camus would go with the remaining 250 or so. I wasn't disappointed and really enjoyed this book. I can see why it is included in the 1001 books to read before you die list.
Thanks marko for introducing me to an author I probably wouldn't have chosen to read myself. I have katrinat's address and will get this book off to the post office tomorrow.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
sent in the post
I expected this novel to have more of an effect on me, to be more powerful and shocking. If I hadn't been reading it for a bookring I don't know if I would have carried on reading it. I'm not saying it was poorly written, just not as gripping as it could have been.
Many thanks katrinat!
"Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves."
"...since a dead man has no substance unless one has actually seen him dead, a hundred million corpses broadcast through history are no more than a puff of smoke in the imagination"
"...they came to know the incorrigible sorrow of all prisoners and exiles, which is to live in company with a memory that serves no purpose"
"...that bitter sense of freedom which comes of total deprivation"
"The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole men are more good than bad; that, however, is not the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. The soul of the murderer is blind, and there can be no true goodness nor true love without the utmost clearsightedness"
Next stop: afraberg
I've two other ringbooks I need to read first, this one has to wait a week or two.
Thanks for sharing another great book Marko!
I've put the book in the mail to Fotomiep today.