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where he talks of Jean Paul Sartre and others’ dismissal of Camus, a dismissal Kundera credits chiefly to snobbery.
In an essay from the mid—sixties, ‘He was my Teacher’, Gilles Deleuze disdainfully regards Camus as a minor figure and Sartre of far greater significance.
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Where Borges moved towards a metaphysics of hard words to describe metaphysical conundrums, Camus offers soft words as he insists on the manner in which man is overwhelmed by the natural environment.
Such a problematic needs not simply descriptive words, the names of trees, rock formations, flora and fauna, but a language that can give emotional specificity to nature’s capacity to work on and obliterate aspects of the self.
What exactly is a “tumultuous happiness “, we might wonder, or a “surge of panting joy”.
In ‘The Adulterous Woman’ we notice, “the cold air she was gulping began to glow amidst her shivers,” “the bright air seemed to vibrate around them with a vibration increasing in length as they advanced, as if their progress struck from the crystal of light a sound wave that kept spreading out.” This is often the type of language D. Lawrence would use to try and capture the further reaches of consciousness caught by the intensities of nature.
“In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually towards the horizon.” “Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying.” Her adultery is with nature, as she sneaks out of the room to snatch time with the cosmos.