I have been in a literary bind lately, having read novels both borne out of responsibility for class discussions and sheer interest. I was a fair reader years ago but, as expected, professional life almost seemed to have killed every ounce of passion that I have for the arts. Therefore, it was a breath of fresh air that I am able to restore the remnants of my fragmented appreciation for fiction, although I had to be forced to such daunting task. You have to at least give credit to required readings in school.
“The Stranger” by Camus, however, was not part of our reading list. My recollections with Camus can be traced back to my senior year in college when I was simply blown away by “The Plague,” his crowning achievement, in my feeble opinion. What a monster of a book. It’s like “The Stand” by Stephen King, only much, much better (Sorry, King fans). The uncompromising bleakness and deadness of the novel was also able to capture the purposelessness I was feeling for life at the time. Camus’s straightforward prose and existential musings highly interested me back then, although it was only now that I followed up my literary sojourn with the French author. Better late than never, so they say.
I feel sympathy for Meursault, the novel’s main protagonist. He simply allowed life to take control of his actions, which ultimately led him to his downfall, or rebirth, depending on which perspective you identify the most. To Meursault, nothing mattered, nothing made any difference. Nothing. Such is a cautionary tale as to what would happen if people put this certain loss of life at the pedestal.
It is easy to deny the gift of life; after all, death is certain, life is not. I don’t want to die knowing that I did nothing, that there’s this emptiness that may relegate me to a vacuous state, which have plagued the previous years of my existence. Not to get too cerebral or in-depth with this pretentious shit, but I need to find inspiration. Everyday is a battle, and sometimes I falter in my purpose, my agenda to survive. But there will always be beauty in all that we pursue. It may not be blatantly imposed in our actions, but it could be simmering in the background, like a wallflower hanging on the ground. I need to see these things, to remind me that all is good and that I keep treading the right path with my identity intact.
I saw “Love an Other Drugs” this past weekend.