The Fall

By Albert Camus

Entry 7118


From: holdoffhunger [id: 1]


Revolt Library Anarchism The Fall

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(1913 - )

Albert Camus (/kæˈmuː/ kam-OO, US also /kəˈmuː/ kə-MOO, French: [albɛʁ kamy] (About this soundlisten); 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. Camus was born in Algeria (a French colony at the time) to French Pieds Noirs parents. His citizenship was French. He spent his childhood in a poor neighborhood and later studied philosophy at the University of Algiers. He was in Paris when the Germans invaded France during World War II in 1940. Camus tried to flee but finally joined the French Resistance where he served as editor-in-chief at Combat, an outlawed newspaper. After the war, he was a celebrity figure and gave many lectures around the world. He married twice but had many extramarital... (From:


6 Chapters | 31,458 Words | 175,185 Characters

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Some were dreadfully insulted, and quite seriously, to have held up as a model such an immoral character as A Hero of Our Time ; others shrewdly noticed that the author had portrayed himself and his acquaintances. … A Hero of Our Time , gentlemen, is in fact a portrait, but not of an individual; it is the aggregate of the vices of our whole generation in their fullest expression. —LERMONTOV I MAY I, monsieur, offer my services without running the risk of intruding? I fear you may not be able to make yourself understood by the worthy ape who presides over the fate of this establishment. In fact, he speaks nothing but Dutch. Unless you authorize me to plead your case, he will not guess that you want gin. There, I dare hope he understood me; that nod must mean that he yields to my arguments. He is taking steps; indeed, he is making haste with prudent deliberation. You are lucky;... (From :

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II WHAT is a judge-penitent? Ah, I intrigued you with that business. I meant no harm by it, believe me, and I can explain myself more clearly. In a way, that even belongs to my official duties. But first I must set forth a certain number of facts that will help you to understand my story. A few years ago I was a lawyer in Paris and, indeed, a rather well-known lawyer. Of course, I didn’t tell you my real name. I had a specialty: noble cases. Widows and orphans, as the saying goes—I don’t know why, because there are improper widows and ferocious orphans. Yet it was enough for me to sniff the slightest scent of victim on a defendant for me to swing into action. And what action! A real tornado! My heart was on my sleeve. You would really have thought that justice slept with me every night. I am sure you would have admired the rightness of my tone, the appropriateness of my emotion, the persuasion and warmth, the res... (From :

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III REALLY, mon cher compatriote, I am grateful to you for your curiosity. However, there is nothing extraordinary about my story. Since you are interested, I’ll tell you that I thought a little about that laugh, for a few days, then forgot about it. Once in a great while, I seemed to hear it within me. But most of the time, without making any effort, I thought of other things. Yet I must admit that I ceased to walk along the Paris quays. When I would ride along them in a car or bus, a sort of silence would descend on me. I was waiting, I believe. But I would cross the Seine, nothing would happen, and I would breathe again. I also had some health problems at that time. Nothing definite, a dejection perhaps, a sort of difficulty in recovering my good spirits. I saw doctors, who gave me stimulants. I was alternately stimulated and depressed. Life became less easy for me: when the body is sad the heart languishes. It seemed to me that I was... (From :

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IV A DOLL’S village, isn’t it? No shortage of quaintness here! But I didn’t bring you to this island for quaintness, cher ami. Anyone can show you peasant headdresses, wooden shoes, and ornamented houses with fishermen smoking choice tobacco surrounded by the smell of furniture wax. I am one of the few people, on the other hand, who can show you what really matters here. We are reaching the dike. We’ll have to follow it to get as far as possible from these too charming houses. Please, let’s sit down. Well, what do you think of it? Isn’t it the most beautiful negative landscape? Just see on the left that pile of ashes they call a dune here, the gray dike on the right, the livid beach at our feet, and in front of us, the sea the color of a weak lye-solution with the vast sky reflecting the colorless waters. A soggy hell, indeed! Everything horizontal, no relief; space is colorless, and life dead. Is it not uni... (From :

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V You are wrong, cher, the boat is going at top speed. But the Zuider Zee is a dead sea, or almost. With its flat shores, lost in the fog, there’s no saying where it begins or ends. So we are steaming along without any landmark; we can’t gauge our speed We are making progress and yet nothing is changing. It’s not navigation but dreaming. In the Greek archipelago I had the contrary feeling. Constantly new islands would appear on the horizon. Their treeless backbone marked the limit of the sky and their rocky shore contrasted sharply with the sea. No confusion possible; in the sharp light everything was a landmark. And from one island to another, ceaselessly on our little boat, which was nevertheless dawdling, I felt as if we were scudding along, night and day, on the crest of the short, cool waves in a race full of spray and laughter. Since then, Greece itself drifts somewhere within me, on the edge of my memory,... (From :

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VI I’M EMBARASSED to be in bed when you arrive. It’s nothing, just a little fever that I’m treating with gin. I’m accustomed to these attacks. Malaria, I think, that I caught at the time I was pope. No, I’m only half joking. I know what you’re thinking: it’s very hard to disentangle the true from the false in what I’m saying. I admit you are right. I myself ... You see, a person I knew used to divide human beings into three categories: those who prefer having nothing to hide rather than being obliged to lie, those who prefer lying to having nothing to hide, and finally those who like both lying and the hidden. I’ll let you choose the pigeonhole that suits me. But what do I care? Don’t lies eventually lead to the truth? And don’t all my stories, true or false, tend toward the same conclusion? Don’t they all have the same meaning? So what does it matter whether they are true... (From :


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