The Plague is Albert Camus's world-renowned fable of fear and courage
The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague, which condemns its victims to a swift and horrifying death.
Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they are forced into quarantine.
Each person responds in their own way to the lethal disease: some resign themselves to fate,
some seek blame, and a few, like Dr Rieux, resist the terror.
An immediate triumph when it was published in 1947, The Plague is in part an allegory of France's
suffering under the Nazi occupation, and a story of bravery and
determination against the precariousness of human existence.
'My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.'
In The Outsider (1942), his classic existentialist novel, Camus explores the alienation of an individual who refuses
to conform to social norms. Meursault, his anti-hero, will not lie. When his mother dies, he refuses to show his
emotions simply to satisfy the expectations of others. And when he commits a random act of violence on a sun-drenched
beach near Algiers, his lack of remorse compounds his guilt in the eyes of society and the law. Yet he is as much a victim as a criminal.
Albert Camus' portrayal of a man confronting the absurd, and revolting against the injustice of society,
depicts the paradox of man's joy in life when faced with the 'tender indifference' of the world.
Sandra Smith's translation, based on close listening to a recording of Camus reading his work aloud on
French radio in 1954, sensitively renders the subtleties and dream-like atmosphere of L'Étranger.
Dimensions: 18 cm x 11 cm