In this video, I analyse the first third of Camus' The Fall.
“Fortunately there is gin, the sole glimmer of light in this darkness.”
Camus, Albert. The Fall. Vintage Books, 1991, p. 12.
“Anyone who has considerably meditated on man, by profession or vocation, is led to feel nostalgia for the primates. They at least don’t have any ulterior motives.”
Ibid, p. 4.
“Have you noticed that Amsterdam’s concentric canals resemble the circles of hell?”
Ibid, p. 14.
“I never cross a bridge at night. It’s the result of a vow. Suppose, after all, that someone should jump in the water. One of two things—either you do likewise to fish him out and, in cold weather, you run a great risk! Or you forsake him there.”
Ibid, p. 15.
“I have never felt comfortable except in lofty places. Even in the details of daily life, I needed to feel above.”
Ibid, p. 23.
“I looked upon myself as something of a superman.”
Ibid, p. 28.
“I was of respectable but humble birth (my father was an officer), and yet, certain mornings, let me confess it humbly, I felt like a king’s son, or a burning bush. It was not a matter, mind you, of the certainty I had of being more intelligent than everyone else. Besides, such certainty is of no consequence because so many imbeciles share it.”
Ibid, pp. 28-29.
“Don’t think for a minute that your friends will telephone you every evening, as they ought to, in order to find out if this doesn’t happen to be the evening when you are deciding to commit suicide, or simply whether you don’t need company, whether you are not in a mood to go out. No, don’t worry, they’ll ring up the evening you are not alone, when life is beautiful. As for suicide, they would be more likely to push you to it.”
Ibid, p. 31.
“Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings? How we love the friends who have just left us? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth! […] But do you know why we are always more just and more generous toward the dead? The reason is simple. With them there is no obligation.”
Ibid, pp. 32-33.
“I had gone up on the Pont des Arts, deserted at that hour, to look at the river that could hardly be made out now night had come. Facing the statue of the Vert-Galant, I dominated the island. I felt rising within me a vast feeling of power and—I don’t know how to express it—of completion, which cheered my heart. I straightened up and was about to light a cigarette, the cigarette of satisfaction, when, at that very moment, a laugh burst out behind me. Taken by surprise, I suddenly wheeled around; there was no one there. I stepped to the railing; no barge or boat. I turned back toward the island and, again, heard the laughter behind me, a little farther off as if it were going downstream. I stood there motionless. The sound of the laughter was decreasing, but I could still hear it distinctly behind me, come from nowhere unless from the water. At the same time I was aware of the rapid beating of my heart. Please don’t misunderstand me; there was nothing mysterious about that laugh; it was a good, hearty, almost friendly laugh, which re-established the proper proportions. Soon I heard nothing more, anyway. I returned to the quays, went up the rue Dauphine, bought some cigarettes I didn’t need at all. I was dazed and had trouble breathing. That evening I rang up a friend, who wasn’t at home. I was hesitating about going out when, suddenly, I heard laughter under my windows. I opened them. On the sidewalk, in fact, some youths were loudly saying good night.”
Ibid, pp. 38-40.
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