Fun[eral]!


Ok, so The Stranger was a French novel written in the 1940's about a man that was sort of discombobulated in his own emotions. As the author, Albert Camus puts it: "the nakedness of a man faced with the absurd."

Anyway, the story begins with the death of the the main character's mother. He goes to the funeral, which is at the retirement home where his mother lived out her life. The funeral is odd, but I suppose it was completely normal for a funeral in France in the 1940's- The casket is in a small house with some chairs and a skylight all by itself. There is also the funeral director and a nurse who's got some sort of bandage on her face because "she's got an abscess". Some of the residents of the home also come to view the casket. The funeral process involves sitting through a vigil with the casket all night then, at dawn, walking with the hearse down to the graveyard where they say some prayers then bury the body and everyone goes home. Throughout this process, the son smokes a cigarette, refuses an offer to see his mother's body, falls asleep, doesn't talk to anyone, walks lackadaisically behind the casket and sort of doesn't care that his mom just died.

Later in the book, he's involved in a murder and his behavior at the funeral is used as evidence into his psyche- suggesting that he has no remorse for his mother's death and therefore, he must not have remorse for the murder he committed.

The book actually won the Nobel Prize in Literature and is pretty entertaining- also, it's a pretty short read and occupies an afternoon nicely. It's chock full of symbolism and reading between the lines and deep-thought inducing plot lines. And it's French, if you like THAT sort of thing.

4 comments:

MamaLern said...

Oh yeah, by the way- the nurse in the story is knitting!

Burt said...

I have a whole pack of black drawing paper that I still have yet to use! Very cool illustration, L!

MamaLern said...

Thanks! Black drawing paper would have been useful. I did not have any. I DO need a new ball-point pen now, though...

Muse said...

I loved this book.. and the sketch is well done. Quite lovely!