Encounter with “The Outsider”
On the banks of the Seine River in Paris, the world’s most prestigious literary and romantic area. The sky was cold and grey, the thick dark clouds were still there, and there were intermittent raindrops. The street market is more empty than usual, with fewer tourists, and a large number of ancient buildings are preserved along the way, with handsome men and women carved in marble with solemn expressions. One day in August 2013, I was walking in this strange land, and a sense of surreality of interlaced time and space emerged spontaneously. A small number of stalls by the river opened, selling old books and some small and fresh items. Suddenly I discovered the 1956 edition of “L’? TRANGER” (“The Outsider”). The price tag was 10 euros, and I only had 7.3 euros with me at the time. Suppressing the excitement in my heart, I didn’t know where the courage came from. I just spoke bad English and bargained with the stall owner, and finally got my beloved book. The rain started to fall heavily. In order to prevent the book from getting wet, I wrapped it with my coat and stuck it to my chest. With the true weight and temperature of the book, I felt the weak but powerful beating of my heart.
”The Stranger”, authored by Albert Camus of France, is a genius who shines on the literary star map and the land of France. With this book, he “dramatically expresses the most basic problems of human existence such as freedom, justice and death” And won the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was long dead, in a car accident as grotesque as fate itself. Today, the waves of the silent Seine are surging, just like history unfolding and running quietly.
The protagonist of the story, Meursault, stayed out of his mother’s funeral, made out with his girlfriend the next day, and then inexplicably came to the beach and killed someone. The strong condemnation of public opinion pushed him, who was not worthy of death, to the gallows step by step. On the eve of his execution, Meursault insisted in prison that he was innocent and always felt “happy”. He scorned religion, he scorned death, he scorned the absurd, painful nature of the world. Contempt dispelled his fear and despair, but brought bloody glory in his heart: “In order to make me feel less alone, I also hope that many people will watch me on the day of my execution, and I hope they will retaliate against me with shouts of hatred Voice.”
As the author Camus said: “In our society, anyone who does not cry when his mother is buried is in danger of being sentenced to death.” Meursault is an outsider. He thinks that he is in line with the creed of this world, but he doesn’t know that he has already deviated from it. “Anyone who violates the basic laws of society will be punished by society”-society is sometimes absurd. When all the previous accidental events are connected in series and summed up in the fact of “killing”, Meursault becomes a Inhuman demons. The reasoning process is only based on people’s subjective conjecture, with strong emotional color, it is actually logical in the eyes of “the world”. At that time, people felt helpless, panicked, and lost after the war. Outsiders survive alone in the world, sober, indifferent, willing to suffer for sincerity, eager to find a legitimate way out, but often perish because of inappropriateness. Fate destined that they could not escape the tragic ending, but they became heroes because of their persistence in thinking, contempt for pain, and silent resistance to absurdity.
In the cold rainy Paris, I came across this book unexpectedly. From ancient times to the present, there have been some outsiders with independent personalities and fearless spirits in every era. The society is loud and tumultuous, and people are increasingly alienated, feeling anomie, unable to survive. Outsiders can’t change all this, but they still maintain clear and sharp thinking, gain insight into the essence of life, and after realizing the impermanence of fate like Hamlet, they still live in the world with a pure heart. Their thinking and courage have influenced the times, and there will always be someone in their blood.