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The Plague - Albert Camus 
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Post The Plague - Albert Camus
Has anyone read this book?
I did I quick search here and failed to find a discussion about it.

I've been wanting to read Albert Camus and finally got started this weekend.
I'm almost finished The Plague.
So far I haven't been disappointed. Camus' "absurdism" is fascinating.



Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:13 am
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
I looooooved The Stranger or L'Etranger. Loved it. I'll try to find this book.



Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:44 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
I plan on reading that one next.



Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:00 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
I looove Camus. I read "The Plague" many years ago and I also find his writing style amazing and refreshing. I will need to check out "The Stranger". Camus reminds me of Samuel Becket, Becket wrote plays in the absurd style.



Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:50 am
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
I'm reading this book right now. The residents have just become aware somewhat of the gravity of the situation. I'm approximately one third of the way through it and am finding it to be an excellent story. I will be adding The Stranger to the To Read list! I vaguely recall reading "The Myth of Sisyphus" and thinking that he makes a lot of sense and isn't so absurd as he is claimed to be!


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Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:36 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
Kevin wrote:
I'm reading this book right now. The residents have just become aware somewhat of the gravity of the situation. I'm approximately one third of the way through it and am finding it to be an excellent story. I will be adding The Stranger to the To Read list! I vaguely recall reading "The Myth of Sisyphus" and thinking that he makes a lot of sense and isn't so absurd as he is claimed to be!



I finished The Plague this morning!

Please let me know your thoughts as you advance through the story.
I'm really glad I stopped putting it on the back burner. It really was great. Some very powerful moments.



Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:44 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
My initial thought regarding the book - 'phew.' I was concerned it would be a hard book to follow - absurdism and so on - but it has shown itself to be quite straightforward. I am not currently up to struggling through a difficult read! I had to place Pynchon on the back burner actually... maybe next time.

Here is a passage I particularly like:

“The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn’t the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. The soul of the murderer is blind; and there can be no true goodness nor true love without the utmost clear-sightedness.”

Our moment of zen. Well, so who is the narrator? I wonder what the purpose is of the mysterious nature of the writer. The priest's sermon. I don't see how God can have the utmost clear-sightedness. The futility of the struggle against the plague. It's not futile while it's happening. You're dead, but there can be so much in the meantime. It's a book of struggle.


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Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:13 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
Some good thoughts and a great quote from the book.

The real plague actually exists in the heart of the common man.

i need to stop right there because you arent quite finished yet.

i need to ask you your opinion on a few of the characters.



Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:14 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
My reading has been very slight these last few weeks. I am still plugging away at it though and have now reached part 5. Yes, the plague exists in the heart of humanity, and there is quite the competition for who can kill the most. They all have their reasons, (even God) and thus the unity of oppression, suffering, exploitation and so on... this book is preaching to my choir on this this topic.

As for the characters I can't muster much interest in them since to me they all seem cardboard cutouts. I'm fine with that as I don't think they are meant to be real persons. They function well enough as symptoms of the plague.


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Mon May 13, 2013 12:45 am
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
I remember reading this book back in 1998 and thoroughly enjoying it. My favourite, though, was A Happy Death. The Myth of Sisyphus is among the most influential books I've read, with one of the most memorable quotes: "God giving a meaning to life far surpasses in attractiveness the ability to behave badly with impunity. The choice would not be hard to make. But there is no choice, and that is where the bitterness comes in."


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Fri May 17, 2013 8:39 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
ant wrote:
Some good thoughts and a great quote from the book.

The real plague actually exists in the heart of the common man.

i need to stop right there because you arent quite finished yet.

i need to ask you your opinion on a few of the characters.


OK man I've finished. Let's hear it!


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Tue May 28, 2013 9:06 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
I'm reading Pandora's Grave, by Stephen M. England. Very good so far! Before that, I read Hunter, by Robert Bidinotto. Really enjoyed that one!

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Tue May 28, 2013 10:23 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
Since I read and write thriller novels dealing with epidemics, I decided to read “The Plague” by Albert Camus. What struck me right off was this was not a thriller novel dealing with the microorganism that causes an epidemic. Instead it was about how the various characters handle a situation where a plague causes the isolation of a city.
Also, I found the writing style quite interesting. The author uses the omniscient point of view to allow a narrator to tell the story. The narrator also uses quotes from the various characters plus referring to a journal of one of the character to move the story along.
But like I said before, the reader is shown how the characters react to being quarantined and cut off from the rest of the world. This allows the author to get in a lot of philosophical and theological ideas to play around with in how his various characters act in response to the plague. With out a doubt this novel is well written. I can see why Albert Camus received a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957.
:) I enjoyed reading this novel, even though it was not a thriller like "Outbreak" by Robin Cook.


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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
I've finished listening to it (audiobook) and rather enjoyed it. I'm going to give it a second listen today.

The perceptions at the end of the book - 'real life' verses the superficiality that the general public strive to return was rather apt. It reminds me of the lifeboat scenarios where you had to decide who gets on the boat or not... but my personal perception is that we are always in a lifeboat scenario; but with just a much, much larger boat. So it become an out of sight out of mind condition.

My favorite moment/scene is in which Tarrou and Rieux go for a late night swim.

Gentlemen, hats off!'


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Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:51 pm
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Post Re: The Plague - Albert Camus
Thanks very much Brian for drawing attention to this old thread. Your point on superficiality reflects the existential themes that Camus was famous for - how problems like plague force us to confront reality when we would prefer to live in a comforting fantasy.

As I mentioned on the Coronavirus thread, I would like to discuss the relevance of The Plague to the psychological and social issues arising from the current pandemic. I think it would be a great Booktalk fiction selection.

The Plague is available at this link for free as a pdf.


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