Edward Said on Albert Camus (1994)

A brief introduction to Edward Said Edward Said was born in 1935 in Palestine. His father was from Palestine, his mother from Lebanon. They were both Christians, not Muslims, so he was already an outsider in a predominantly Muslim part of the world. Said attended British Anglican schools in Jerusalem and Alexandria, which further detached […]

Camus’s style in The Plague

I don’t understand why critics refer to the lucidity and clarity of Camus’s style; I find it quite the opposite. I think three elements contribute to his turgid and often impenetrable prose. Lack of interest in telling a conventional story with its use of suspense, character development, detailed descriptions and therefore a style which simply […]

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus (1942)

It sums itself up as a lucid invitation to live and to create, in the very midst of the desert. (p.7) This volume consists of the long (100-page) essay about suicide, The Myth of Sisyphus, which argues against despair and in favour of life – accompanied by five much shorter essays each exemplifying Camus’s healthy lust […]

The Fall by Albert Camus (1956)

The plot A Parisian is on a visit to Amsterdam. One evening he is approached by a stranger in a bar, a fellow Parisian who lives in the Dutch capital. This stranger is a regular in the bar, knows the landlord (who he refers to as ‘the ape’ or ‘the gorilla’) and all the other […]

The Outsider by Albert Camus (1942)

And just then it crossed my mind that one might fire, or not fire – and it would come to absolutely the same thing (p.62) Part one Mersault is a young French man, born and bred in Algeria, living and working in the capital Algiers. He is directionless, aimless, never really knows what to say […]

Happy Days by Samuel Beckett (1961)

Beckett wrote a lot of plays, 19 of them according to the Beckett On Film project, more than 30 if you include the seven plays for radio and the various fragments and dramaticules. But only a handful of them are ‘full length’ enough to sustain an evening at the theatre, being: Waiting For Godot (1953), […]

Acts Without Words I and II by Samuel Beckett

Act Without Words I Act Without Words I (a mime for one player) is a short mime piece written by Samuel Beckett. It was originally performed after Beckett’s major play, Endgame, during the latter’s first run in London. It was Beckett’s first attempt at the genre and dates from a period when he had just […]

Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett (1953)

ESTRAGON: Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful! Beckett dashed off Waiting For Godot in just four months, October 1948 to January 1949. It was written in a break between the second novel of the Beckett Trilogy, Malone Dies (written November 1947 to May 1948) and the third and final instalment of the trilogy, The Unnamable, which […]

Murphy by Samuel Beckett (1938)

‘Unless you want me to call a policewoman,’ said Murphy, ‘cease your clumsy genustuprations.’ (Murphy page 56) This is Beckett’s first published novel. I expected it to be an improvement on his first published book, the collection of linked short stories, More Pricks Than Kicks, but the essential feel, the worldview and style are very much […]

The Plain Dealer by William Wycherley (1676)

‘I’ll have no leading-strings; I can walk alone: I hate a harness’ (Manly in The Plain Dealer, Act One) William Wycherley wrote four comedies during the Restoration era. The Plain Dealer is the fourth and final one and is generally thought to be the best. It is a free adaptation of The Misanthrope (1666), one of […]