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The Fall by Albert Camus

The Fall (original 1956; edition 1956)

by Albert Camus

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6,184601,065 (3.9)1 / 157
Elegantly styled, Camus' profoundly disturbing novel of a Parisian lawyer's confessions is a searing study of modern amorality.
Title:The Fall
Authors:Albert Camus
Info:Vintage Books/ Random House, Inc (1956), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction (France)

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The Fall by Albert Camus (1956)


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English (51)  French (4)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
i luv the band the fall ( )
  cortneycassidy | Feb 14, 2020 |
AWESUM. NOw I not afraid of the Judgement Day cos "every day is judgement day"! (Not a quote from the book but I like to put stuff like this in quotes so it sounds like Arnie Shcwarzeneghher is sayin it.)

You shoud totally read this if you have friends that keep thinkin they are better then you. ( )
  6loss | Nov 7, 2019 |
More a sequence of monologues than a novel, Albert Camus' The Fall is difficult to engage with. The book's form hinders rather than encourages engagement with the author's philosophical perspective, and it is a wonder that Camus did not invest more in narrative in his career, especially when it worked so well in his earlier The Plague. The Fall was written during a period of depression for its author, and it shows in its occasional lack of strategy. It is one of those books that is to be studied rather than enjoyed, and its approach only becomes clear once you have reached the end and can look back on it. Through listening to Clamence's monologue, we join him in his fall, only to realise at the end that we have fallen too. ( )
  Mike_F | Oct 26, 2019 |
A few years ago my wife and i were in the UK, in Reading, and we had went out for drink with her brother. A gentleman walked over and sat next to us and began unfolding his life story, one rife with accomplishment i.e. he had been kicked out of the French Foreign Legion for being too violent and then he had made millions speculating in global markets. Presently, he "was between things",as it were. He went on and on about the superiority of the German and Japanese people and why ego was all that mattered. This grew uncomfortable and polite asides weren't working. We finally left. I had a similar impression in finally reading The Fall.

Effective, yet I felt it was an essay as monologue and not a novel. It certainly must have been evocative at the time of its publication. ( )
1 vote jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |

“One plays at being immortal and after a few weeks one doesn't even know whether or not one can hang on till the next day.”
― Albert Camus, The Fall

“A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the newspapers.” So pronounces Jean-Baptiste Clamence, narrator of Albert Camus’s short novel during the first evening of a monologue he delivers to a stranger over drinks at a shabby Amsterdam watering hole. Then, during the course of several evenings, the narrator continues his musings uninterrupted; yes, that’s right, completely uninterrupted, since his interlocutor says not a word. At one point Clamence states, “Alcohol and women provided me, I admit, the only solace of which I was worthy.” Clamence, judge-penitent as he calls himself, speaks thusly because he has passed judgment upon himself and his life. His verdict: guilty on all counts.

And my personal reaction to Clamence’s monologue? Let me start with a quote from Carl Jung: “I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon.” Camus gives us a searing portrayal of a modern man who is the embodiment of spiritual poverty – morose, alienated, isolated, empty.

I would think Greco-Roman philosophers like Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, or Marcus Aurelius would challenge Clamence in his clams to know life: “I never had to learn how to live. In that regard, I already knew everything at birth.”. Likewise, the wisdom masters from the enlightenment tradition –- such as Nagarjuna, Bodhidharma and Milarepa -- would have little patience listening to a monologue delivered by a smellfungus and know-it-all black bile stinker.

I completed my reading of the novel, a slow, careful reading as is deserving of Camus. The Fall is indeed a masterpiece of concision and insight into the plight of modern human experience.

Here is a quote from the Wikipedia review: “Clamence, through his confession, sits in permanent judgment of himself and others, spending his time persuading those around him of their own unconditional guilt.”

Would you be persuaded?

( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Albert Camusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Buss, RobinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maclaine Pont, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, JustinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Some were dreadfully insulted, and quite seriously, to have held up as a model such an immoral character as A Hero of Our Time; others shrewdly noticed that the author had portrayed himself and his acquaintances...A Hero of Our Time, gentlemen, is in fact a portrait but not of an individual; it is the aggregate of the vices of our whole generation intheir fullest expression. LERMONTOV
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May I, monsieur, offer my services without running the risk of intruding?
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
L'Olanda è un sogno, caro signore, un sogno d'oro e di fumo, più fumoso di giorno e più dorato di notte, e giorno e notte questo sogno è popolato di Lohengrin come questi, che trascorrono in sogno su nere biciclette dagli alti manubri, cigni neri che girano senza tregua per tutto il paese, intorno ai mari, lungo i canali.
Io riprendevo forza e poi la riperdevo. La vita diventava meno facile: quando il corpo è triste, il cuore langue. Mi sembrava di disimparare in parte quello che non avevo mai imparato e che tuttavia sapevo così bene: vivere, voglio dire.
Gliel'ho detto, si tratta di sfuggire al giudizio. Siccome sfuggirvi è difficile, mentre riuscire a far ammirare e insieme scusare la propria natura è buona creanza, cercano tutti di essere ricchi. Perché? Se lo è mai chiesto? Per essere potenti, certo. Ma soprattutto perché la ricchezza sottrae al giudizio immediato, ti libera dalla folla della metropolitana per chiuderti in una carrozzeria nichelata, isola in vasti parchi ben custoditi, vetture letto, cabine di lusso. La ricchezza, caro amico, non è ancora l'assoluzione, è la condizionale, che fa sempre comodo.
Fatto sta che, dopo lunghi studi su me stesso, ho scoperto la duplicità profonda della creatura. Allora, a furia di frugare nella memoria, ho capito che la modestia mi aiutava a brillare, l'umiltà a vincere e la virtù ad opprimere. Facevo la guerra con mezzi pacifici, e alla fine, per mezzo del disinteresse, ottenevo ciò che agognavo.
Ma di nuovo trovai un ostacolo in me stesso. Questa volta fu il fegato, insieme ad una stanchezza così grande che ancora me la porto dietro. Uno gioca a fare l'immortale, e in capo a qualche settimana non sa nemmeno più se potrà strascicarsi fino al giorno dopo.
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