- ペーパーバック: 144ページ
- 出版社: Vintage; Reissue版 (1989/3/13)
- 言語: 英語
- ISBN-10: 0679720200
- ISBN-13: 978-0679720201
- 発売日： 1989/3/13
- 商品パッケージの寸法: 13.1 x 1 x 20.3 cm
- おすすめ度： 4件のカスタマーレビュー
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 25,601位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
The Stranger (Vintage International) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1989/3/13
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Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.
“The Stranger is a strikingly modern text and Matthew Ward’s translation will enable readers to appreciate why Camus’s stoical anti-hero and devious narrator remains one of the key expressions of a postwar Western malaise, and one of the cleverest exponents of a literature of ambiguity.” –from the Introduction by Peter Dunwoodie商品の説明をすべて表示する
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Basically, Meursault does not care about anything, does not feel anything for anyone (including himself, for the most part). He looks at life objectively and determines that it really doesn't matter whether he does something or not in the overall scheme of things. When Marie expresses her love for him, he tells her he will marry her if it will make her happy but that he cannot say he really loves her. He expresses no remorse for killing the Arab because it just happened; he had no intention of doing it, but the fact is that he did, so there's little point in dwelling on it. He cares about the present and, to a lesser degree, the future, but the past is meaningless for the very reason that it is the past. Meursault sees things as they are; rather than rely on flights of fantasy and imagination (the typical tools of the Romanticists), he deals with facts in the here and now rather than run from them and has no problem admitting the seemingly obvious fact that man is a creature of utter depravity. He rejects religion; since each man must eventually die, what does it matter what he does while on earth. It is a man's hopes and dreams that weigh down his very existence; Marsault can only find happiness by cleansing himself of all such illusory notions.
Needless to say, this is not an uplifting book, but it is an engaging, thought-provoking one. While Camus cannot be called a true existentialist in his own philosophical outlook, his fiction does epitomize many existentialist ideas. Marsault is a protagonist like no other in literature--you cannot like him, he is obviously guilty of killing a man in cold blood, and he is of a cold-hearted nature, yet you do understand some of his thinking, find yourself more and more interested in his dark outlook on life, and have to admit that much of what he believes makes sense.
Philosophically The Stranger is one of the most intriguing and moving books I have ever read particularly the final act where Meursault confronts the priest who attempts to lead him to the Christian God in the last days before his execution. Despite the perceived indifference he exhibits throughout the book Meursault has a consistent and well defined philosophy of existence. In this moment Meursault disgorges everything he has on the hapless priest and lays bare his soul (so to speak). Knowing that his death is but weeks, days or perhaps hours away, he achieves a moment of clarity seeing his place in the universe, a universe even more indifferent than himself. Camus never absolves him of his crime but in a sense Meursault rises above the simple act of killing a man, above his imprisonment and above life itself. He achieves full acceptance of his existence and place in the universe and in that moment transcends life and God. I`m genuinely saddened that I'm not able to read the final chapter in its original French. If the translation is this good I can hardly imagine how amazing the original must be.
This is the kind of book that one could read and ponder over and over again and I have a feeling I will. There is a considerable amount of symbolism throughout particularly the scorching sun which seems to continually oppress Meursault until he can take it no more. It starts off very slowly and builds throughout. I've never been on trial and certainly never been on death row but Camus gave Meursault an inner dialogue that rang so true it felt more real than any other portrayal I've seen or read. Despite his crime and often callous view of the suffering of others Camus created a character so real and open to the reader that I couldn't help but pity him terribly for his situation but in the end Meursault found peace regardless of the outcome. If you haven't read this book you really should and it's a short read so if you don't find it as profound as I did at least you wont have to endure it for long.
Meursault reminds me so much of figures from the paintings of Manet. In painting after painting, Manet depicted individuals alone in crowds, failing or refusing to interact or even acknowledge the others in the frame. In one famous painting, a lower middle class girl sits alone in her own little orb, sitting beside an upper class gentleman, neither acknowledging the existence of the other, both self-contained, seemingly detached from the busy world surrounding them. Behind them, a barmaid drinks a beer, equally oblivious to everyone and everything around her. They might all be on separate desert islands. Manet repeats this in painting after painting. Meursault seems almost as if he had stepped out of one of those paintings. He can at least communicate with others, socialize with them, but he cannot express strong moral sentiments or develop affectionate (as opposed to sexual) attachments.
This is not a happy book. The story deals with Meursault's almost accidental killing of an Arab whose sister had been harmed by one of his acquaintances, but the novel trivializes everything--the killing, his subsequent arrest, his imprisonment, his trial and conviction, and his sentencing. The closest the novel comes to a happy sentiment is near the end when Meursault imagines how much nicer it would be to witness an execution rather than be executed, to have to puke in revulsion than to literally lose one's head to the guillotine.
Camus would never write such a despairing book again. THE PLAGUE the next year would come close, but not close, while THE FALL would seem almost optimistic and upbeat in comparison. But for those who want to find perhaps the quintessential expression of what we like to think of as existentialism, this could stand as the premier literary instance.
The storyline is very simple: a young and aimless Algerian immigrant to France, Meursault, unmoved by his mother's death, becomes involved in petty events beyond his control and ends up killing someone. The trial is a ridiculous farce, and the real art comes from the way Meursault dispassionately describes the events overtaking him: the funeral, the trial, the sentencing. The story is at once beautiful and unsettling.
Of course, none of this is anything that hasn't already been said among the other reviews here. What prompted me to write a review about this now (after all, I had first read this story more than 20 years ago and have only re-read parts of it recently) is the new and much-heralded translation from Matthew Ward. Mr. Ward's work has been almost universally praised by critics, who have called it an essential update and a production that will make the book more accessible to American audiences.
That may be so, but I can't escape the feeling that it also cheapens this great book. I realize that some traditionalists will always accuse a modern translator of a classic piece of literature of tampering with art. But even if I keep that in mind as I read The Stranger in its newest form, I still get that sinking feeling.
Take the opening paragraph, for example. I have always considered the opening lines in The Stranger among the best in the western literary cannon, and they seem to lose firepower in Mr. Ward's version of the story: "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe. I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: `Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday."
Compare that to the classic Stuart Gilbert translation that is familiar to most English speakers to have read this book: "Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure. The telegram from the Home says: `Your mother passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Deep sympathy.' Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday."
Don't the short and choppy sentences of the telegram contrast strongly to the emotionless as-a-matter-of-fact narrative from Meursault in the second example? And isn't that lost in the newer version when both Meursault and the telegram have the same tone? The Meursault from Mr. Ward's translation always talks that way, giving the impression that he actually puts a bit of thought into what should be his dispassionate commentary, rather than just speaking in meandering run-on sentences as someone simply going through the motions would (and the way author Albert Camus described Meursault in later years).
Also, who is Maman? I'm not sure I would recognize the word as a form of "mother" if I weren't already familiar with the story.
In sum, the value of The Stranger is beyond doubt. But consider the issue of the translations strongly, and, if possible, consider one of the older translations that create a story closer to what I believe Mr. Camus intended and not something that may have been crafted to subtly reshape the story for modern audiences.
The title l'Etranger, has been poorly translated. The U.S. title, The Stranger, implies that the main character, Meursault, has been viewed as a "strange" or "odd" person for some time. The other possible meaning is that no one knows him. Meursault is a stranger even to those who think they know him. These definitions do not seem adequate. The U.K. title, The Outsider, only serves to confuse readers even more.
Meursault is the archetype of a middle-class man. He works as a clerk, rents an apartment and draws no attention to himself. He is, if anything, very ordinary. Meusault might even be boring. He lacks deep convictions and passion. If he is estranged from any aspect of French society, it is religion--he does not believe in the symbols and the rituals of faith.
Estranged? "Cela m'est égal."
Along with the title, Camus took care in naming the main character. Meursault's name is symbolic of the Mediteranean sea. Mer mean "sea" and soliel is French for "sun." The sea and the sun meet at the beach, where Meursault's defining actions occur.
Meusault is an anti-hero. His only redeeming quality is his honesty, no matter how absurd. In existential terms, he is "authentic" to himself. Meusault does not believe in God, but he cannot lie because he is true to himself. This inability to falsify empathy ultimately condemns him. Meursault has faith only in what he, himself, can see or experience with his other senses. He is not a philosopher, a theologian or a deep thinker. Meursault exists as he is, not trying to be anything more or less than himself.
Why did Camus' readers recognize Meursault as a plausible character? After two World Wars and much suffering, many people came to live life much as Meursault does. Or at least they tried to do so. These people lost the will to do more than exist. There was no hope and no desire. The only goal for many people was simple survival. Even then, the survival seemed empty and hollow. We learn how empty Meursault's existence is through his relationships. He is not close to his mother; we learn he does not cry at her funeral. He does not seem close to his lover, Marie Cardona. Of her, Meursault states, "To me, she was only Marie." There is no passion is Meursault's words or in his life.
What sets Camus apart from many existentialists and modern philosophers in general is his acceptance of contradiction. Yes, Camus wrote, life is absurd and death renders life meaningless--for the individual. But mankind and its societies are larger than any one individual person.