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The Fall (1956)

by Albert Camus

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,948831,123 (3.89)1 / 184
Elegantly styled, Camus' profoundly disturbing novel of a Parisian lawyer's confessions is a searing study of modern amorality.
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 Literary Centennials: Camus - The Fall - discussion4 unread / 4baswood, January 2014

» See also 184 mentions

English (69)  French (5)  Spanish (3)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (83)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
25
  PlayerTwo | Apr 20, 2024 |
Parts of the book are hard-hitting and profound, but some bits (especially towards the end) become quite verbose and difficult to follow. It's easy to get the gist of what the narrator is trying to convey, but the repetitive nature of his argument does not redeem itself at the end, unlike Camus' other notable work, The Stranger. ( )
  shadabejaz | Apr 15, 2024 |
A fabtastic book by Camus, that brings you into a world in which you feel you are the protagonist. ( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
You are in a crowded subterranean bar in Amsterdam, trying unsuccessfully to attract the attention of the barman, when a stranger comes to your assistance. Confident and friendly, he introduces himself as Jean-Baptiste Clamence, and proceeds to tell you his life story. Because you are the ‘you’ who is addressed throughout The Fall, a silent witness to Clamence’s confession. He explains how he used to be a successful Parisian defence lawyer, a champion of the poor and oppressed, a good liberal and a happy man with many friends and admirers. But that was before the fall. Now he lives amongst criminals, in self-exile in Amsterdam with its concentric canals ‘like the circles of hell’. A self-styled ‘judge-penitent’ he spends his time confessing his sins to the strangers he meets in the seedy bars he frequents.

Philosophical meditation, dramatic monologue and authorial confession disguised as a novel; The Fall is all of these. It’s certainly a technical tour de force and Clamence’s monologue is sustained with great skill. Camus’ collapsing of the fourth wall produces an effect at first intimate and eventually uncomfortably claustrophobic. ‘You’ are dragged involuntarily into the novel and left hopelessly implicated in its narrator’s testimony. Clamence is the most seductive stranger ‘you’ ever encountered in a sleazy bar: elegantly epigrammatic, sardonically witty and beguilingly lyrical. He is also not so much a man who has lost his innocence as one who has made the shattering discovery that he was guilty all along. He is at once confessor of his own sins and accuser of all humanity. Is he unusually candid or unutterably manipulative? Truth-teller or sophist? ‘You’ be the judge.

Clamence ‘is the talking voice that runs on’ (as Stevie Smith said of her alter-ego Pompey Casmilus in Novel on Yellow Paper). He rattles around your brain for ninety-odd pages raising endless questions about our old friend the human condition. Are altruism and egotism the same thing? Do we like to judge others to avoid being judged ourselves? Are we all guilty? Camus leaves any possible answers to ‘you’, the reader. ( )
  gpower61 | Sep 6, 2023 |
By far my favorite book of his that I've read. I specially love the format: a conservation that we can only read one part of, though the narration tells you enough that you can fill in the answers of the other side by mere context cues.
Really recommend it. ( )
  icallithunger | Jan 16, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
"La caída" de Albert Camus es una novela filosófica en forma de monólogo dramático. El protagonista, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, es un antiguo abogado parisino que confiesa la historia de su vida y su caída moral a un oyente anónimo en un sórdido bar de Ámsterdam.

Clamence comienza como un abogado de éxito y moralmente recto, pero sufre una profunda transformación tras una crisis personal. Se convierte en una figura distante y cínica que ve la vida a través de la lente del existencialismo. La novela explora temas como la culpa, la responsabilidad y la condición humana.

Clamence reflexiona sobre sus propios fallos morales y la hipocresía de la sociedad. Se presenta a sí mismo como un juez-penitente, alguien que reconoce sus propios pecados y busca el reconocimiento de los demás. La narración sirve de crítica al vacío moral de la sociedad moderna y a la evasión de la responsabilidad personal por parte de los individuos.

"La caída" es una obra compleja e introspectiva que ahonda en los fundamentos filosóficos del existencialismo, abordando cuestiones como la autenticidad, las relaciones humanas y la naturaleza de la culpa. La novela invita a los lectores a contemplar los retos de vivir una vida auténtica y con sentido en un mundo aparentemente indiferente.
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Camus, AlbertAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Meister, Guido G.Translatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buss, RobinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maclaine Pont, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattauch, AlfredIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, JustinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuart, GilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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?
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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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Elegantly styled, Camus' profoundly disturbing novel of a Parisian lawyer's confessions is a searing study of modern amorality.

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