- Dec 2010
Camus wouldn't, then, understand what he was proposing in the novel. It might very well have been existentialist principles.But, as you pointed out, in his critique of The Stranger, and it is an insightful critique as you say, he states that "Camus shows off a bit by quoting passages from Jaspers, Heidegger and Kierkegaard, whom, by the way, he does not always seem to have quite understood."
Who Sartre (the King existentialist) says Camus doesn't fully understand.Three years later, long before his friendship with Camus and Sartre broke off their friendship, Camus is saying "Sartre is an existntialist, and the only book of ideas that I have publishe, The Myth of Sisyphus, was directed against the so-called extentialist philosophers."
Sartre is pretty damn cohesive as long as one tracks him chronologically. Again, if Camus misunderstood the existentialists I don't see why we should be taking his side in the matter.Insightful though Sartre may have been, he was not infallible. We need to look more closely at Sisyphus and at The Stranger and ask whether the former was perhaps directed against the extentialist philosophers and Sartre misunderstood Camus.
This I addressed earlier. After writing, an author can only analyze a novel as any other reader, and this says more about Camus than the novel.In this context, I think we would need also to look again at the 1955 preface for The Stranger which I quoted in full in this thread. Camus had some ideas which are not entirely consistent with Sartre's interpretation of the story.
So he doesn't really know the bounds of the thing he wrote.Finally, I again remark that Camus himself said in Sisyphus that "like great works, great ideas have more meaning than they are conscious of."
I don't follow.No one can say that Sartre's understanding was wrong--the meaning of the story is subjective in the readers consciousness. But we are probably close to the truth if we say that Sartre didn't understand Camus.