Cover image for
Albert Camus, The stranger
McCarthy, Patrick, 1941-

Personal Author:
Physical Description:
viii, 109 pages ; 21 cm.
Landmarks of world literature

Landmarks of world literature.
General Note:
Spine title: Camus, The stranger.
Added Title:
Camus, The stranger.
Pub Date:
Cambridge University Press, 1988.


Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 840.9 C15M
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 840.9 C15M

On Order



Patrick McCarthy places The Stranger in the context of a French and French-Algerian history and culture, examines the way the work undermines traditional concepts of fiction, and explores the parallels (and more importantly the contrasts) between Camus and Sartre. His account provides a useful companion to The Stranger for students and general readers.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Camus's L'Etranger (1942; tr. The Stranger, 1946) is now considered a landmark in 20th-century French literature. Only time will reveal if it achieves the status denoted by this Cambridge series, "Landmarks in World Literature." McCarthy offers convincing reasons why it should by analyzing the novel's strengths and weaknesses, the inconsistencies in both its temporal structure and its narrative structure. Even if he insists perhaps a bit too much on the mother symbolism in the psychoanalytical aspects of the novel, he does an impressive job of revealing the political aspects of the hero's dilemma. By situating him in his class and time and place, McCarthy demonstrates how this incomprehensible and hardly sympathetic character, who did not weep at his mother's funeral and could not explain and did not know why he killed an Arab, becomes a sort of Everyman. The comparisons and contrasts with Sartre's works of the same period are instructive, and the brief discussion of the translations and significant secondary sources are very useful. They will help every reader understand how the hero personifies modern individualism with its trust only in personal experience and its distrust of authority, its realization of the absence of all transcendence and the ultimate impossibility of making words express the simplest ideas or emotions. Appropriate for college, community college, and university libraries. F. C. St. Aubyn (emeritus) University of Pittsburgh

Table of Contents

1 Contexts
2 The Stranger
3 Early Camus and Sarte
4 Why and how we read The Stranger

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