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10 thoughts on “La Chute

  1. says:

    I ran into my friend Dan at the club last week, and he was drunk So we talked Camus We didn t discuss Camus s theories, or the fact that he avoided riding in cars and then DIED IN A CAR CRASH We just talked about Camus in relation to Dan s life and in relation to mine The only really interesting thing about anything to me is how it affects me That s the honest truth Dan and I agreed that an interest in Existentialism is kind of a stage in your life like when you liked Pearl Jam or lived in a little house that had a name and seven other people living in it We then agreed that a re exploration of all things Existential is usually preceded by your significant other telling you to get bent Later Dan taught me how to cure a salmon, and we decided to co host a dinner party in the second week of April I doubt we would have come to this conclusion without having read The Fall.


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    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


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    La Chute The Fall, Albert CamusThe Fall French La Chute is a philosophical novel by Albert Camus First published in 1956, it is his last complete work of fiction Set in Amsterdam, The Fall consists of a series of dramatic monologues by the self proclaimed judge penitent Jean Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life to a stranger In what amounts to a confession, Clamence tells of his success as a wealthy Parisian defense lawyer who was highly respected by his colleagues his crisis, and his ultimate fall from grace, was meant to invoke, in secular terms, The Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden The Fall explores themes of innocence, imprisonment, non existence, and truth In a eulogy to Albert Camus, existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre described the novel as perhaps the most beautiful and the least understood of Camus books 1975 1340 120 1345 107 1352 189 1377 167 1393 1388 144 9789642575572 1392 120 9789643741808 1956


  5. says:

    The Anti ChristWhy does the Judge penitent address you directly, as if he has found a kindred soul in you In this world responsibility is infinite and that is why The Fall is inevitable even for a Christ But back then Christ made a mistake he saw was the nausea of the world, he saw was the complete guilt of each man and his own and he decided to redeem man himself by setting a supreme example He sacrificed himself because he found himself guilty It was only an example, a call to action to make men recognize and alter their way of life He wanted man to see the depravity of his own existence by this one magnificent act But his sacrifice was merely self elevating, it could not elevate man For man cannot be elevated before being shown the depths he roils in currently And man cannot see faults where he looks to see heroes He cannot see himself in Christ Man cannot see man in the Ideal.No, the faults had to be shown through an anti hero That is why the prophesy of an anti christ was our true hope That is why Christ had to return as the Anti Christ The Anti Christ has to be closer to man, he has to be able to whisper to him as if he was just another man He has to be able to make man see himself by looking at him To make you see yourself as you really are by seeing in him yourself yourself after The Fall That is why the Judge penitent addresses you directly He has found a kindred soul in you.The Judge PenitentYou are personally guilty for every fault that exists in the world And The Fall is to not acknowledge your guilt to withdraw from the world into aestheticism recall Kierkegaard s A in Either Or and make your life s central concern one of making yourself feel good about yourself and thus about the world.By the time Jean Baptiste s confession is over, you should realize that in fact the Judge penitent is you The story was yours It is time to begin your own confession It is time to stop being Kierkegaard s A, and to be the B To polarize yourself Time to take responsibility and stare into the abyss.Of course you might let someone else take The Fall for you, but from then on you would have to worship him You would have to worship the guilty You would have to worship the Judge Penitent But in this modern religion, to worship is to laugh at The Fallen.That is the true role of the modern Christ To take The Fall for you, so that he becomes the mirror in which you see the horror of your life.The FallThis necessary and continuous fall is the theme of the novel It is one unforgiving, vertiginous descent It is not a story of gradual discovery and ascent as in Sartre s Nausea In Nausea you see the picture that you should be painting of yourself In The Fall you see the anti thesis that you should use as your anti model, as the one point which gives meaning to your picture by not being painted.Here you are made to continuously disagree with a person who goes and towards that abyss You are made to define yourself in your disagreement, to define yourself as a negation And by doing that you are the one who discovers the nausea of such an existence, even as the narrator finds ingenious and pathetic ways to avoid it And you are the one who moves away from the abyss.You are the hero of the story, or at least the would be hero the one who is going to have the transformation that will change your world The polarization is external to the novel.Jean Baptiste is one of the most powerful anti heroes of literature, but you never root for his redemption Instead you root for him to fall and fall to Fall as horribly and as deep into the abyss as possible Because that is the only way to root for yourself Because the he falls, the you can see of what consists the abyss, and the further away you get from it His Fall will save you Mon cher, he is your personal Christ.


  6. says:

    you know this person, we all know this person, this particular kind of person a real do gooder, a person of the people, doling out the goodwill and the spare change and the spare arm to help that blind person across the street you know the satisfaction they get from looking humble, acting humble, being anything but humble at the heart of them reveling in their goodness reveling in their superiority selflessness disguising selfishness this person loves em and leaves em too, except love is too strong, too emotional a word to describe the shallow physical connection that leaves out any potential for a genuine connection this person looks at other people like they would look at a collection of amusing bugs this person sees a person needing help but if it costs them something, anything, even just a bit of delay on their way to something super important, then they are going to pass that person by this person doesn t actually like people all that much this person despises them, than a little you know this person because you have been this person for at least a moment or a minute, maybe even longer, maybe it was something you had to get past you know this person because this person is a part of you, unless you are some fairytale wonderland cartoon character who isn t capable of such things, of even thinking such things, and if that s the case then fuck off no, scratch that, don t fuck off if you ve never been this person, not even for a second, then message me because I wanna marry you I ve never been with a perfect person before.you know this author, mark, or at least you thought you did Camus the very name brings up so many thoughts and ideas and college memories, so many references it s an intimidating name because Camus is an intimidating author at least I thought he was but not the Camus who wrote this excoriating and brilliant little novella The Fall is pure enjoyment Camus gets into the head of his douchebag protagonist and makes you really understand him and even better, he makes the experience so much than a chilly intellectual exercise Camus is funny he s than clever, he has a genuine although dark sense of humor wounding but never callow wit but important than either the depth of his characterization or his darkly sparkling wit is the fact that Camus is a man with reservoirs of empathy The Fall isn t just a hit job on some hypocritical asshole Camus understands his character, intimately he understands him by recognizing that his character is a trait within human nature the deepest wounds come from the people who are armed with empathy they know exactly where and how to hurt you Camus holds up a mirror for his readers to gaze upon themselves personally, I wasn t too big a fan of what I saw I don t like that side of me I hate confronting my own hypocrisies but I sure did love the mirror itself it was beautifully built, a real work of art.8 of 16 in Sixteen Short Novels.


  7. says:

    I used to be, as they say, a person of some consequence, but now I spend most of my time on Goodreads What Oh, I worked for an American organization which provided experts for hire At significantly elevated rates, it goes without saying Reliable expertise carries a high market value, that was our business model Let me tell you about one job I performed A Spanish government agency wished to discontinue funding of a software project, why I don t know Some internal feud, perhaps They required an unimpeachable opinion to quote, so I had been brought in as an external evaluator I was politely told in advance that my evaluation was expected to be negative My contact assured me that he would keep the meeting as short as possible, in the interests of everyone concerned I went in and shook hands with the representative of the project I could see he had been up all night trying to improve his system s performance I allowed him to show me the app for a few minutes The contact man looked at me In a neutral tone, and, in English, I explained that the project was not using the currently fashionable architecture or evaluation methodology it was hard not to feel that this raised serious doubts The contact man translated But he doesn t even know Spanish, the victim said helplessly the contact man replied a minute later, we were shaking hands again and leaving The next day, my boss told me the client had been pleased with my performance.After I discovered Goodreads, I began to feel that software projects were insufficiently challenging Instead of giving bland opinions on code, I could use my own words to judge the accumulated output of the world s writers, from Homer to the present day The response was also interesting A curt and eloquent dismissal of Joyce or Dostoyevsky would produce satisfying howls of protest from the soi disant intellectuals, and a comment thread that could yield a whole morning of amusement But after a while, this too palled I found that there are only a limited number of ways to disturb a highbrow reader s sense of literary appropriateness I began to move my reading steadily downmarket, to vulgar and poorly executed novels which readers actually seemed to care about Soon I had touched bottom and found the rich stratum of authors with accounts on the site People claim, without much conviction, that they care deeply about To the Lighthouse they may believe in all honesty that they care about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows But there is no doubt at all that they care about their own books It was extraordinary easy to manipulate these authors vanity, first raising up their hopes with an appreciative comment and then hitting them with a bluntly insulting one star review If they dared object I was surprised to see how many did it was then the work of an hour to assemble dozens or even hundreds of other reviewers, who would mock and scorn them as badly behaved authors , adding their own insulting reviews I know, one can hardly call my career a glorious one but no doubt you have similar crimes on your conscience.Every author, I learned, longs to find the ideal reader who will read them as they know they should be read, who will understand all the things they wished to say but could not express They search for the ideal reader, but all they find are critics I think there has only been one ideal reader, two thousand years ago He looked past the surface of the book and saw the true book inside, the book so deeply hidden that even the author could not see it Naturally the critics found him intolerable and put him to death Later, people felt that they had to write a book about the ideal reader It is a confused and poorly structured book, full of inconsistencies and non sequiturs It is still the best book yet written I could continue, but it is nearly midnight I do not think I will tell you any about my life Instead, I suggest we walk across the bridge into the Vieille Ville, past the art galleries and antiquarian bookshops Another one closed down just last week I want to see them before it is too late.


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    The FallAlbert Camus I saw only superiority on myself, which explained my benevolence and peace of mind You are sitting in a bar in Amsterdam the Mexico City just after world war, when you chance an encounter with a ordinary being, a simple man popping up on the stage of your life Jean Baptiste Clamence comes across to you an ordinary citizen who tells you he used to be a lawyer but he s now a judge penitent A strange kind of emotion provoked in your consciousness due to the announcement about his profession You don t know what that means judge penitent, but he promises he ll explain it to you He narrates in the first person, explaining that you are both from Paris, you re both in your forties, and you re both men Jean Baptiste Clemence takes you on a journey where he put his real being across you after peeling off layers after layers of his inauthentic personas he has put up to comfort himself against the incising eyes of The Others, however only to warp his being by new ones You are taken aback by a sudden terror realizing that the man you meet then is actually like you, it s your own being, in fact he represents all humanity, the universal condition hollowness of human existence Welcome to the world of Camus I wanted to break up the mannequin that I presented to the world wherever I went, and lay open to scrutiny what was in its belly The narrator claims that he once lived a good, self satisfied life, believing himself a model citizen However I was on the right side, and that was enough to ease my conscience A sense of legality, the satisfaction of being right and the joy of self esteem these, my dear sir, are powerful incentives to keep us on our feet and moving forward Clamence, in his position as judge penitent, embodies the human necessity to judge, and need to condemn The innate desire of human beings to judge acts as the very source of false morality He creates a sort of illusion around himself based on the self appeasing traits, however the spell, created by these traits , shattered to nothingness during one night when is walking by Seine, observes a that woman flings herself from the river bank and to certain death He is standing right there listening on the cries of the woman but he couldn t move to help her Her fall triggers Clamence s own In another incident, Clamence finds that he is trapped behind a motorcycle which has stalled ahead of him and is unable to proceed once the light changes to green as a result Other cars behind him start honking their horns, and Clamence politely asks the man several times if he would please move his motorcycle off the road so that others can drive around him however, with each repetition of the request, the motorcyclist becomes increasingly agitated and threatens Clamence with physical violence , Clamence, utterly humiliated, merely returns to his car and drives away Later, he runs through his mind a hundred times what he thinks he should have done namely strike his interlocutor, then chase after the motorcyclist and run him off the road After having been struck in public without reacting, it was no longer possible for me to cherish that fine picture of myself If I had been the friend of truth and intelligence I claimed to be, what would that episode have mattered to me It was already forgotten by those who had witnessed it. For Clamence, the collision of his true self with his inflated self image, and the final realization of his own hypocrisy becomes painfully obvious Awakened to the reality of both his own, and the whole of humanity s guilt, Clamence retreats from his settled life build around seemingly false self placating characteristics and chooses rather to spend his days recounting his story in the hope that others will be awakened as he has been, and in so being alleviate the burden he himself carries Clamence takes to this misanthropic life with ease, declaring himself a judge penitent , both condemned and condemning.The face of morality represented by Clamence, actually turns out to be an illusion of morality, a morality doesn t build around integrity instead around false notions of righteousness However, the narrative props up an underlining truth that the false veneer which Clamence wraps around his being takes birth out of necessity to live a seemingly virtuous life in the eyes of The Other But it leads to an inauthentic, hollow existence which permeates from the straightforward narrative of the book but shows you hypocrisy of your existence itself And your whole existence shudders with inexplicable terror while reflecting upon the hollowness of your very being The self loathing aroused from it makes you realize that your whole existence is a catalogue of guilt, hypocrisy and alienation as the morality, you build your life upon, ripped apart on the encounter with harsh realities of existence The fall which Clamence experiences is not just his fall, it s the fall of whole humanity as your whole history of existence is built around such false, self assuaging norms, otherwise hollow in its core A single sentence will suffice for modern man he fornicated and read the papers While acknowledging that isolation is the only way to begin to free oneself of the expectations of others and avoid Sartre s Bad Faith, Clamence preaches slavery the abdication of freedom as the only way to be happy As Sartre used to say we are condemned to free It is one of his many diabolic I m well aware of the fact one cannot do without being dominating or being served Every man needs slaves just as he needs fresh air Giving orders is like breathing, you must agree In a world of only relative morality, authority, Clamence seems to suggest, is the only root to objective truth But if you question it on the ontological level, you find that this assertion is undercut by Clamence s own attempt to elevate himself to the position of judge, wherein you find a logical inconsistency as humanity attempts to judge itself without transcendent being The main thing is to able to let oneself do anything, while from time to time loudly declaring one s own unworthiness I allow myself everything, once again and this time without laughing I haven t changed my way of life I still love myself and I still use other people It s just that confessing my sins permits me to start again with a lighter heart and to gratify myself twice, firstly enjoying my nature, and then a delicious repentance And you find that world of Clemence is no different that of Mersault, for he faces the problems of anonymity and indifference in modern life, only to expose the absurd nature of life wherein human beings tend to find meaning of life and totally unable to find any As a character, Clamence epitomises the selfishness that stands between man and authentic experience, and true morality for community not just self Only a novice would say that Clamence is Camus s own voice naively tracing the biographical elements in the books, however, the character of Clemence represents the reflection of a modern man living in post war The nihilistic feeling he feels on encountering the absurdness of life urge him to take the easy way out to fall back, only on new false notions His inability to live between the evil and the righteousness in the absurd state of life creates a false morality Clamence experiences Kierkegaard s Dread By choosing to embrace a life of judgement, he becomes a fallen prophet.The narrator would take you through the bourgeois hell of Amsterdam by his monologue about guilt, hypocrisy and alienation He ensnares us in his world of mirrors and deceptions, conveying the universality of his message while at the same time offering enough precision of detail for us to be aware of references to explicit events and personalities even we do not know what and who these are Sartre once called it the finest and the least well understood of Camus s works The observation by Sartre was bang on since the multi layered text of this highly allusive book creates a chilling atmosphere behind its simple language and straightforward narrative Though the divergence of Sartre s and Camus s thinking has become evident much earlier but Sartre s review of The Rebel made it one of most celibrated literary battles of 20th century One would assume, perhaps appropriately, that the novel was written, at least in parts, to express Camus s feelings about the quarrel with Left as Sartre had been champion of Marxism however the novel appears to have references to ideas of Sartrean Existentialism In Being and Nothingness, Sartre had posited a world in which human individuals are totally free, but in a constant struggle to defend their freedom against the encroachment of others who will attempt to dominate, limit and constrain them These attempts can take the form of open oppression or subtly, of love and affection, emotions that Sartrean Existentialist are imbued with bad faith bad faith of the kind that Clemence seems to be describing when he talks about his discovery that modesty helped me to shine, humility to triumph and virtue to oppress Observed with judgment and enslavement, Clamence is an Existentialist, too, in the anguish that comes with his understanding of the human condition and its absurdity One may find Clamence to be satirical portrait of Sartre, something seems undeniable given the circumstances in which the novel was written, some may even hind that Clamence as a portrait of Camus himself as even some of the reviewers reverberate the same Perhaps he has traits of both The confession of the judge penitent may be in reality an accusation In that case, it leads right back to Existentialism, it could be traced out in Camus s notebook which reads Existentialism What they accuse themselves, one can be sure that it is always in order to condemn others Judge penitents I didn t know that freedom is not a reward or a decoration that you toast in champagne Nor is it a gift, a box of delicacies which will make your mouth water Oh no On the contrary, it s hard gift and a long distance run, all alone, very exhausting No champagne, no friends raising their glasses and looking affectionately at you Alone in a dreary room, alone in the dock before yourself and before the judgement of others At the end of every freedom there is a sentence, which is why freedom is too heavy to bear, especially when you have a temperature or you are grieving or you lose nobody.I am the end and the beginning, I announce the law In short, I am a judge penitent It s one of those books which require you to actively ponder upon what the author has to say beneath its straightforward narrative And you d be amazed to see its profound effect on multiple readings If you re willing to stretch yourself beside the conventional demands of a book, Camus s universe is for you 5 5