Thursday, August 17, 2006

Absurd indeed

George Bush's choice of holiday reading that is.
Albert Camus' L'Etranger.
Oh well, the symbolism is absolutely precious. As Maureen Dowd writes in her New York Times column:
''The Stranger'' is about the emotionally detached Meursault, who makes a lot of bad decisions and pre-emptively kills an Arab in the sand. Get it? Camus's protagonist moves through an opaque, obscure and violent world that is indifferent to his beliefs and desires. Get it?

I generally feel a sense of camaraderie with people who have read and liked, nay, loved Camus' books. And as the Guardian points out finding out about W reading Camus isn't perhaps the most comforting news. Oh dear. Perhaps, chaps, George is one of us.
Or perhaps he is as daft as we imagine and didn't get the book at all. Contrary to what Bush thinks the book is after all more absurdist than existentialist.

And what's more absurd than George W reading L'Etranger?


Tabula Rasa said...

that's easy. shaquille o'neal reading nietzsche.

don't forget to catch the latest derrida at your local walmart.

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Or Cheney with Hesse?

You could read Kostova's "Historian" before you visit Istanbul.

GhostOfTomJoad said...

For someone who really likes Camus, I've not nearly read enough - Plague, Sisyphus, Happy Death and Betwixt and Between being the only ones. I feel quite ashamed that I haven't read Outsider yet. But, now that Mr Bush has also joined the ranks of those who have, maybe it's time I did too :-)

Szerelem said...

ok i concede....apparently there are things more absurd than W reading Camus

TR: shaquille o'neal reading nietzsche???!!!how did you think that up???.....i cant even picture it... =P

AQC: Cheney should read would be absurd, but he could learn a bit no??....
My Istanbul trip is sadly on the backburner. But, i have promised myself i will travel there at the earliest possible.
I am utterly obsessed with Ottoman history and Kostova's "Historian" has been on my books to read list so i guess i should get down to it now =D

GhostOfTomJoad: i havent read all of Camus either * sheepish grin*. have a couple left. Is Camus not absolutely brilliant? I have adored him since reading the first line of The Myth of Sisyphus.
"There is only one really serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide." Brilliant stuff.

GhostOfTomJoad said...

I think Sisyphus might've been my first experience of Camus, unless it was Betwixt and Between. Either way, it was way back, in college. And, I remember, I was first attracted to Sisyphus b'cos of the futility of the poor character's situation and, of course, as you said, the fact that it was all about suicide and death :-)

Tabula Rasa said...

"Nietzsche was so intelligent. That's how I am. I'm the black, basketball-playing Nietzsche." --Shaquille O'Neal

believe me - truth is stranger than fiction. google it and see.

Szerelem said...

GhostOfTomJoad: i think we are all fascinated by death and suicide. As Shakespeare so famously put it;
"To be or not to be, that is the question "

TR: *STUNNED* that is absurd indeed and i did not know that! Wonder if his reading Nietzsches eternal return concept affected his game in any way =P