L'Etranger in Texas - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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L'Etranger in Texas

The Stranger in Crawford
michael mcdonald

Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, ed., Camus at Combat: Writing, 1944–1947 Arthur Goldhammer, trans. (Princeton University Press, 2006), 378 pp., $29.95.
Albert Camus (1913–1960) has been much in the news over the past 12 months. In Camus’ birthplace of Algeria, where the nation’s post-colonial rulers have long viewed him with suspicion and antipathy, the University of Algiers (in what Le Monde described, in exquisite franglais, as “un come-back étonnant”) organized a state-sponsored conference dedicated to Camus’ impact on Algerian literature. On the other side of the Mediterranean in France, the Gallimard publishing house brought out the first two volumes of a new and expanded critical edition of Camus’ complete works in its prestigious Pléiade series. Meanwhile, across the Channel in Britain, Camus’ famous 1942 novel of alienation, L’Etranger (The Stranger) came out on top in a Manchester Guardian poll conducted among male readers asked to name the book that had most “changed their lives.” But all of this paled in significance to the event that truly launched Camus’ return to the spotlight in 2006: the announcement by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow that President Bush had read The Stranger while vacationing in August at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

In the wake of Snow’s disclosure, commentators who rarely miss an opportunity to criticize Bush for his conceited airs rushed into print with smirking columns. Bush had quoted Camus previously in a February 21, 2005, speech in Brussels in which he urged other nations to help the United States spread democracy in the world (“Albert Camus said that ‘freedom is a long-distance race.’ We’re in that race for the duration”, Bush said.) But to such pundits it seemed that Dubya could have no idea of who Albert Camus was, and that the idea of Bush reading—let alone making sense out of—The Stranger was enough to make a cat laugh. Strained attempts at satire duly ensued, including a wooden effort in the New Republic entitled “Strangerer: Camus does Bush” by the now-suspended Lee Siegel. The Stranger and The Cowboy: Could the irony be any richer?

On the one hand, an ultra-conservative, pro-death penalty, born-again Christian—from Texas no less! On the other, an anti-religious, absurdist tale that indicts capital punishment and was written by a man who took on, and by many accounts bested, some of the most famous 20th-century Parisian intellectuals. To be sure, irony does indeed abound, but not all, or even most of it, comes at the expense of George W. Bush, as a careful reading of Camus’ wartime journalism, recently released in translation as Camus at Combat: Writing 1944–1947, makes clear.

More at: http://www.the-american-interest.com...m?Id=191&MId=6
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 03:41 PM
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I actually visited Albert's house in Algiers. L'etranger was a good deranged read
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 03:58 PM
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I wouldn't trust these British polls. I read one where their most admired American had Homer Simpson in first place.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 05:05 PM
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Dallas was founded by a French dude and pals.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't trust these British polls. I read one where their most admired American had Homer Simpson in first place.
Oh hell yeah, who could blame them?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 10:35 PM
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Has he gotten to 'the plague' yet?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
The Stranger in Crawford
michael mcdonald

Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, ed., Camus at Combat: Writing, 1944–1947 Arthur Goldhammer, trans. (Princeton University Press, 2006), 378 pp., $29.95.
Albert Camus (1913–1960) has been much in the news over the past 12 months. In Camus’ birthplace of Algeria, where the nation’s post-colonial rulers have long viewed him with suspicion and antipathy, the University of Algiers (in what Le Monde described, in exquisite franglais, as “un come-back étonnant”) organized a state-sponsored conference dedicated to Camus’ impact on Algerian literature. On the other side of the Mediterranean in France, the Gallimard publishing house brought out the first two volumes of a new and expanded critical edition of Camus’ complete works in its prestigious Pléiade series. Meanwhile, across the Channel in Britain, Camus’ famous 1942 novel of alienation, L’Etranger (The Stranger) came out on top in a Manchester Guardian poll conducted among male readers asked to name the book that had most “changed their lives.” But all of this paled in significance to the event that truly launched Camus’ return to the spotlight in 2006: the announcement by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow that President Bush had read The Stranger while vacationing in August at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

In the wake of Snow’s disclosure, commentators who rarely miss an opportunity to criticize Bush for his conceited airs rushed into print with smirking columns. Bush had quoted Camus previously in a February 21, 2005, speech in Brussels in which he urged other nations to help the United States spread democracy in the world (“Albert Camus said that ‘freedom is a long-distance race.’ We’re in that race for the duration”, Bush said.) But to such pundits it seemed that Dubya could have no idea of who Albert Camus was, and that the idea of Bush reading—let alone making sense out of—The Stranger was enough to make a cat laugh. Strained attempts at satire duly ensued, including a wooden effort in the New Republic entitled “Strangerer: Camus does Bush” by the now-suspended Lee Siegel. The Stranger and The Cowboy: Could the irony be any richer?

On the one hand, an ultra-conservative, pro-death penalty, born-again Christian—from Texas no less! On the other, an anti-religious, absurdist tale that indicts capital punishment and was written by a man who took on, and by many accounts bested, some of the most famous 20th-century Parisian intellectuals. To be sure, irony does indeed abound, but not all, or even most of it, comes at the expense of George W. Bush, as a careful reading of Camus’ wartime journalism, recently released in translation as Camus at Combat: Writing 1944–1947, makes clear.

More at: http://www.the-american-interest.com...m?Id=191&MId=6
So Bush is misunderstood, eh? Not. Don't cloud the issue, he is a blueblood through and through that thinks himself an outcast. He is not an outcast. He is the only one who would put himself in that position.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shane
So Bush is misunderstood, eh? Not. Don't cloud the issue, he is a blueblood through and through that thinks himself an outcast. He is not an outcast. He is the only one who would put himself in that position.
Shane, you might want to go to the linked article and read it in it's entirety.

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