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Jean-Baptiste Clamence, a successful Parisian barrister, has come to recognize the deep-seated hypocrisy of his existence. His epigrammatic and, above all, discomforting monologue gradually saps, then undermines, the reader's own complacency. Jean-Baptiste Clamence, a successful Parisian barrister, has come to recognize the deep-seated hypocrisy of his existence. His epigrammatic and, above all, discomforting monologue gradually saps, then undermines, the reader's own complacency.


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Jean-Baptiste Clamence, a successful Parisian barrister, has come to recognize the deep-seated hypocrisy of his existence. His epigrammatic and, above all, discomforting monologue gradually saps, then undermines, the reader's own complacency. Jean-Baptiste Clamence, a successful Parisian barrister, has come to recognize the deep-seated hypocrisy of his existence. His epigrammatic and, above all, discomforting monologue gradually saps, then undermines, the reader's own complacency.

30 review for La chute Audiobook PACK [Book + 1 CD MP3]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Van Buskirk

    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 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Russell

    “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 m “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?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    La Chute = The Fall, Albert Camus The Fall 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 ultimat La Chute = The Fall, Albert Camus The Fall 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. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یکی از روزها در سال 1975میلادی عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: ا.(اصغر) بهروز؛ تهران، قائم مقام، مطبوعاتی خرد، چاپ نخست 1340؛ در 120ص عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: علی صدوقی؛ تهران، قائم مقام، چاپ دوم 1345؛ در 107ص عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: شورانگیز فرخ؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، فرانکلین، چاپ دوم 1352؛ در 189ص؛ تهران، نیلوفر؛ چاپ چهارم 1377، در 167ص؛ چاپ نهم 1393؛ عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: امیر لاهوتی؛ تهران، جامی، 1388؛ در 144ص؛ شابک 9789642575572؛ عنوان: سقوط؛ نوشته آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: آناهیتا تدین؛ تهران، روزگار، 1392؛ در 120ص؛ شابک 9789643741808؛ کتاب نخستین بار در سال 1956میلادی منتشر شد؛ رمانی فلسفی، که از زبان «ژان باتیست کلمانس (یحیای تعمید دهنده ی ندا کننده)» که وکیل بوده، و اینک خود را «قاضی توبه‌ کار» می‌خواند، به صورت مونولوگ اول شخص روایت می‌شود؛ او داستان زندگی‌ خویش را برای غریبه‌ ای اعتراف می‌کند؛ «ژان پل سارتر» فیلسوف «اگزیستانسیالیست»، این رمان را «زیباترین و فهم‌ ناشده‌ ترین» کتاب «کامو» می‌خواند تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 06/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  4. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    The Anti-Christ Why 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 a The Anti-Christ Why 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-Penitent You 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 Fall This 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 more and more 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 more he falls, the more 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    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" 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, more 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 more than a chilly intellectual exercise. Camus is funny. he's more than clever, he has a genuine although dark sense of humor - wounding but never callow wit. but more 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    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 requir 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 more 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 more 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav

    The Fall Albert 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 The Fall Albert 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 more 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

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    The philosophical and psychological study of a man suffering inner turmoil and a crisis of existence, the man in question is one Jean Baptiste Clemance, a Parisian lawyer who while spending time in an Amsterdam bar starts to tell a moving, slightly disturbing story of self-pity and guilt to a complete stranger, only the feeling here was that a mirror was between them and felt more like a confession to himself rather than anyone else. This is Classic Camus and has all the trademarks you would com The philosophical and psychological study of a man suffering inner turmoil and a crisis of existence, the man in question is one Jean Baptiste Clemance, a Parisian lawyer who while spending time in an Amsterdam bar starts to tell a moving, slightly disturbing story of self-pity and guilt to a complete stranger, only the feeling here was that a mirror was between them and felt more like a confession to himself rather than anyone else. This is Classic Camus and has all the trademarks you would come to expect. Deeply thought provoking, chilling, great narrative and with some memorable lines, my only issue was it's length at under a hundred pages, I craved for more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samadrita

    Do you want to have the very foundations on the basis of which your whole outlook towards life has been shaped, questioned? Do you want to see the lines between so-called good and evil, right and wrong, the moral and immoral blurred to the extent you could not distinguish one from the other? Do you want to erase that cherished and precious point of reference, against which you have compared, weighed all your actions, thoughts and feelings so far? If the answer to the above 3 questions is yes, then Do you want to have the very foundations on the basis of which your whole outlook towards life has been shaped, questioned? Do you want to see the lines between so-called good and evil, right and wrong, the moral and immoral blurred to the extent you could not distinguish one from the other? Do you want to erase that cherished and precious point of reference, against which you have compared, weighed all your actions, thoughts and feelings so far? If the answer to the above 3 questions is yes, then go ahead and read Albert Camus. You may end up falling in love with his work, his notions on moral ambiguity and grudgingly marveling at his genius. Did I love this book? Yes. Did I understand every aspect of it? Yes and No. Might take me a few more reads. Did I love the prose? Oh hell yes. Do I know whether to label this book as a kind of doctrine on nihilism or existentialism or a curious combination of both? Oh hell no.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    “People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.” “Freedom is not a reward or a decoration that you toast in champagne. On the contrary, it's hard graft and a long-distance run, all alone, very exhausting. Alone in a dreary room, alone in the dock before the judges, and alone to make up your mind, before yourself and before the judgment of others. At the end of every freedom there is a sentence, which is why freedom is too heavy to bear.” “Your success and happiness are forgiven you “People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.” “Freedom is not a reward or a decoration that you toast in champagne. On the contrary, it's hard graft and a long-distance run, all alone, very exhausting. Alone in a dreary room, alone in the dock before the judges, and alone to make up your mind, before yourself and before the judgment of others. At the end of every freedom there is a sentence, which is why freedom is too heavy to bear.” “Your success and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them. But to be happy it is essential not to be too concerned with others. Consequently, there is no escape. Happy and judged, or absolved and wretched.” “Friendship is less simple. It is long and hard to obtain but when one has it there's no getting rid of it; one simply has to cope with it. 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 the 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, by virtue of what you owe to yourself, according to them. May heaven protect us, cher Monsieur, from being set upon a pedestal by our friends!” “He had been bored, that's all, bored like most people. Hence he had made himself out of whole cloth a life full of complications and drama. Something must happen - and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death. Hurray then for funerals!” “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! Then the expression of admiration springs forth naturally, that admiration they were perhaps expecting from us all their lives. 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. They leave us free and we can take our time, fit the testimonial between a cocktail party and a nice little mistress, in our spare time, in short.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Samra Yusuf

    So what do we talk about, when we talk about living? The very foundations on the basis of which our whole outlook towards life has been shaped? I’ve heard people claiming to spend their lives with a code of conduct, a sort of philosophy of their own to lead a life.” I love doing this,” “I like being there”, “this is wrong”, “I shouldn’t have said that”, and countless other incongruous statements. From where comes this venerated point of reference to judge our actions, where lies the line that dis So what do we talk about, when we talk about living? The very foundations on the basis of which our whole outlook towards life has been shaped? I’ve heard people claiming to spend their lives with a code of conduct, a sort of philosophy of their own to lead a life.” I love doing this,” “I like being there”, “this is wrong”, “I shouldn’t have said that”, and countless other incongruous statements. From where comes this venerated point of reference to judge our actions, where lies the line that discerns good from evil, moral from immoral, right from wrong…..if there is any! Camus, unlike the other existentialists, never takes religion as hostile, the very title is an obvious reference to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve; our narrator has come as a sinner to us, he has sinned, or so he thinks, and for the consequences, he has fallen from happy fields, into place where there is no light, but darkness visible, he talks and talks to us, confessing sin after sin over the course of several long evenings, why does at this point of his life, has he thought to grant words to those unspeakable actions, or inactions he has done, why indeed he thinks, there lies redemption in confessesions? Clamence,is the victim of judgment, his innerself prods him to outlook life beyond the self-centered existentiality, he has done deeds of good, but has never savored the feeling of being good, he has helped the penurious, but with no empathy, he has enjoyed being fabled, with a certain aloofness, he has taken pleasure in women, but never loved any! And now he comes to us, as a sinner, craves to be heard and redeemed, he is exhausted of being a mere spectator in stage of life, he seeks hope in reclamation, but there is no hope in regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace and rest can never dwell, hope never comes that comes to all, but torture without end! In the light of this work of genius and brevity, I am left bewildered and convinced all the same, was Camus tired of those existential refrains, he preached so dearly in his works, because in later, while criticizing this school of philosophy, and addressing Sartre what he said, is of importance gravely! "far from leading to a decent solution of the problem of freedom versus authority, [existentialism can only lead] to servitude” A little conclusive, isn’t it??

  12. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Arqum

    How foolish I was to assume this would be a quick little read. I could not have been more wrong. I physically feel exhausted. How did Camus write this? The fall is as dense as they come, bitter, excruciating. Forces you to cogitate. The ideas are so repugnant and yet they keep gnawing inside your head. The words are like evil dark matter that establishes its authority right from the start and stays there dictating, vandalizing your property. I cannot believe I am giving this a 5 star rating. I d How foolish I was to assume this would be a quick little read. I could not have been more wrong. I physically feel exhausted. How did Camus write this? The fall is as dense as they come, bitter, excruciating. Forces you to cogitate. The ideas are so repugnant and yet they keep gnawing inside your head. The words are like evil dark matter that establishes its authority right from the start and stays there dictating, vandalizing your property. I cannot believe I am giving this a 5 star rating. I don't know, perhaps it's a glimpse into a godless mind, a wretched heart drenched in hedonism, directionless and tired. It's unfortunate that people have to go through such misery.Also, it shows mirror to all of us, aren't we all hypocrites in one way or another? Writing this would have taken its toll on Camus, I am not ready to believe otherwise. The last few pages are going to stay with me, like headless serpents. I don't know, I feel blessed to be a believer, and also I'm shaken by this "quick little read".

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    As with most Camus, this book is, in the course of a hundred or so pages, an entire decade of therapy. If you don't feel worse—yet oddly optimistic—about yourself and people in general after this book, you're either inhuman, or you're the exact person this book was meant for. Someone once extolled this book as "an examination of modern conscience," and it was through this lens that I first began this work. That's accurate, I suppose, to a point, but to leave interpretation at that would be to ro As with most Camus, this book is, in the course of a hundred or so pages, an entire decade of therapy. If you don't feel worse—yet oddly optimistic—about yourself and people in general after this book, you're either inhuman, or you're the exact person this book was meant for. Someone once extolled this book as "an examination of modern conscience," and it was through this lens that I first began this work. That's accurate, I suppose, to a point, but to leave interpretation at that would be to rob this book of the most vital, living, breathing readings. On the surface, the book presents as a dialogue (presented as a monologue—how's that for queer?), a "confession" of one man to another over the course of five days. Each day the narrator, Jean-Baptise Clemence, tells more of the story of his life as a lawyer, his (existential!) crisis with life in general, and the resolution he's come to now, so many years later. I think my prior study of Existentialism helped understand this book, and thence a healthy portion of my enjoyment, but a deep knowledge of Camus is not necessary.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I was at the St Louis City Museum with the fam, summer of 2017, taking a break, reading this edition of The Fall, and an employee noticed I was reading this, and a fifty-year-old copy I have owned all of my life. "Oh!" she said, "My favorite philosopher! And such an old book! Can I smell it?" I understood her fetish. And her admiration for Camus, which has been a lifelong thing for me. I had decided to re-read the (sort of) trilogy from Camus this year, including The Stranger, The Plague, and The I was at the St Louis City Museum with the fam, summer of 2017, taking a break, reading this edition of The Fall, and an employee noticed I was reading this, and a fifty-year-old copy I have owned all of my life. "Oh!" she said, "My favorite philosopher! And such an old book! Can I smell it?" I understood her fetish. And her admiration for Camus, which has been a lifelong thing for me. I had decided to re-read the (sort of) trilogy from Camus this year, including The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall, though I never really related to the latter when I first read it. I began re-reading it in August, set it aside, and only finished it now, in December! The Stranger is sort of sensational, in a way, the story of an amoral murder, accomplished without guilt; The Plague, which I consider one of the great novels, features Dr. Rieux who commits to saving lives even as the plague advances and things seem hopeless. Another quick way of distinguishing them is that The Stranger is a portrait of an alienated, nihilist man; The Plague is almost the opposite, featuring a passionate commitment to social justice, and The Fall once again shows us that we have largely failed to learn from WWII. All three work together to make a philosophical case for a commitment to help others, for humanism, if you will. The Fall is a first person account of a Parisian lawyer, Clemance, a self-satisfied hypocrite, making a kind of confession to another man in a bar. The confession pertains to something that happened one night a few years ago when the lawyer was walking by the Seine; he observes a woman flinging herself from the riverbank, a suicide. He hears the cries of the woman but he doesn’t move to help her (cf. The Stranger). The character of Clemance represents modern man living post WWII, post-Holocaust. The woman’s fall, in short, triggers Clemance’s own moral fall. Camus said that the book represents a kind of confession, though one unaccompanied by a transformation. He said it was “a story of the confused spirit of the times.” It reminded me, in this reading, of Dostoevsky’s also first-person account of political and moral struggle, Notes from the Underground. Clemance’s story begins with a mention of he Jewish Quarter in Amsterdam. That image is important to the story thematically. If The Plague is an inspiring story of resistance, The Fall is one of a failure to act, of knowing that bad things are happening (such as the Allies knowing of the Holocaust) and doing too little, too late about it. As Clemance says, “I have no friends; I only have accomplices. To make up for this the number has increased; they are the whole human race.” We are all morally culpable for the Holocaust (and subsequent genocides and atrocities). Clemance, not penitent, is nevertheless haunted by his moral failure: “Then I realized, calmly, as I resigned myself to an idea the truth of which I have long known, that that cry which had sounded over the Seine behind me years before, has never ceased.” The Stranger and The Plague have always been great books for me, but I’ll admit, The Fall is chilling, as dark as The Stranger in many ways. (But since I have fifty year old paperback copies, they all have that same musty smell!) Camus's Three Antidotes to the Absurdity of Life, from Maria Popova! https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/07...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Χαρά Ζ.

    **The fall** My dear Camus, i love you.

  16. 5 out of 5

    emma

    how do i stop reading the first few pages of a book in a bookstore and using that as an excuse to justify buying it

  17. 5 out of 5

    Théodore

    I have come to the conclusion that I will never be able to write impressions on all the books I have read. But I can try, at least. I read " The Fall" - twice on a row, many, many years ago. Camus sets a trap for the reader, in which it is impossible not to fall. And you fall, and fall again, because that's why it's called " The Fall", after all, I suppose.. If you find yourself, in Camus' confession , it means that you are honest to yourself, you are ready to look into the depths of your being, a I have come to the conclusion that I will never be able to write impressions on all the books I have read. But I can try, at least. I read " The Fall" - twice on a row, many, many years ago. Camus sets a trap for the reader, in which it is impossible not to fall. And you fall, and fall again, because that's why it's called " The Fall", after all, I suppose.. If you find yourself, in Camus' confession , it means that you are honest to yourself, you are ready to look into the depths of your being, and accept that you are just a little monster obsessed with your own good, and your own pleasure, that you are righteous just for look in the mirror and be proud of yourself, that you aspire to admiration, respect and affection, and after you receive them - you are willing to throw them in the trash, for that you don't care about anyone or anything. If you don't find yourself, in the pages of Camus, I assure you that you have already slipped into the trap, you feel superior, special, precisely because you're not a miserable person. Camus demonstration leaves no room for contradictions, we are miserable selfish people, we do good out of vanity, we are altruistic for that we are weak and dependent on the image on the eyes of others. We are doomed to be human, to bear the burden of all misery, and yet to bear ourselves and others too. Anyway, as Camus rightly says, " it's too late now, it will always be too late. Fortunately ! " Forgive yourself for that you are human, that you are obsessed with superiority - is the real challenge. Maybe this is the key of the novel, this " crack" of the character, who declares that he loves himself, while the whole confession ( the whole book is a confession) - is a demonstration of the fact that he hates himself and does not forgive himself. However, Camus still seems to believe in human being. " The Fall" - is obviously an awkward novel, but an absolutely necessary one. Rereading the passages, whenever I wanted to write about, I rather experienced the feeling of an sublime raising . Once human nature is admitted and forgiven, once the " fall" is lived and understood, it frees us, and there is no other direction than upwards.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Håkon

    This is a wonderful little novel about the internal conflicts of the modern man. Selfishness masquerading as selflessness. Our admiration of freedom, yet our inclination towards slavery. Our critique of the living, and honoring of the dead. admitting guilt, not for repentance, but to make guilty of others, so as to make oneselves, in turn, less guilty The fall recounts a man's fall from innocence, to hating all that is mankind, with all it's contradictions, wishing some form of master would float This is a wonderful little novel about the internal conflicts of the modern man. Selfishness masquerading as selflessness. Our admiration of freedom, yet our inclination towards slavery. Our critique of the living, and honoring of the dead. admitting guilt, not for repentance, but to make guilty of others, so as to make oneselves, in turn, less guilty The fall recounts a man's fall from innocence, to hating all that is mankind, with all it's contradictions, wishing some form of master would float out of the heavens and just tell him what to do. The contradictions that bother the narrator so much, are the exact contradictions that he is manifesting through his own speech, therefore causing him to hate himself. Is that not the final, greatest contradiction of all? It is impossible to read this novel without drawing parallells to Dostoevsky, particularly Notes From Underground. The unreliable narration, the contradictiory Speech, the half-truths, and most of all, the "preachy" (not that that is a bad thing at all) nature of the characters. The discoveries in this novel are simple yet profound, endlessly quotable, and will probably have to be read on several occasions to truly digest it all.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rakhi Dalal

    Left me thinking more than ever.Still there is so much that is left unanswered.The book leaves you uneasy, contemplating and struggling to find the logic underneath the issues raised/addressed by the author.But can there be any sense to the working of human minds?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    Well. Well. Well. (To copy a review opening by a good friend here on this site.) But then I thought, why not translate it into French? In honor of Camus? So I tried that, and what did I get? Bien. Bien. Bien. No. Not what I meant at all. I didn't mean Good. By well I meant to express … resignation? A feeling of … what should I say? ennui? Mon cher compatriote … may I call you that without offense? But why would I assume that we are fellow citizens, dear or otherwise? And why would this author assume Well. Well. Well. (To copy a review opening by a good friend here on this site.) But then I thought, why not translate it into French? In honor of Camus? So I tried that, and what did I get? Bien. Bien. Bien. No. Not what I meant at all. I didn't mean Good. By well I meant to express … resignation? A feeling of … what should I say? ennui? Mon cher compatriote … may I call you that without offense? But why would I assume that we are fellow citizens, dear or otherwise? And why would this author assume that? In his first person monologue that made me think of the identical voice used in The Reluctant Fundamentalist? Perhaps I've made a false start here. I did find the narrative voice interesting, at least at first. Ironic, evasive, hardly straightforward … Is our unnamed narrator – what? you say his name is Clamence? I must have missed that - being serious? Is he playing with us? Is this a game of cat and mouse? And we readers meant to be the mouse? But really! after a while I found it becoming so … tedious. You think I jest, don't you! But no, look. Look at that book shelf. Abandoned! But, you say, that it just this reviewers way of poking fun. That is just a ruse. And perhaps it is, mon ami. It may well be. And if I had access to emoticons, which would I choose to use here? Well may you ask. Oh, you didn't ask? You don't care? Well, you do catch my meaning then. After all, the story, if I may call it that, is so short, less than 150 pages, large type at that, remarkably few words on the page … but I ask you, is it not true, that despite all the text I underlined, there was really, so little there…when all is said and done, or I should say when all is read and done, what do we have? What are we to make of this? By good fortune, I have a book or two of critique to flip through. Monsieur Hanna's, for example. What does he have to say? Quite a bit, actually. Here, in chapter IX "The literature of revolt", on page 213 begins "The Fall - a confessional narrative" – which I skim, I could quote, mon ami, but I won't subject you to all those words of our critic, he is serious, I'm sure … or is he too being ironic, playful, leading us on, when he says things like, just to pick a short passage that strikes the eye, "… surely none of his pages conceal so much playful irony as do those of The Fall. And the net result is that this, the most personal of Camus' works, is the least revealing." Indeed. But enough. And from another collection, Roger Quilliot writes, "The Fall is an act of purification." Sartre has the temerity to state, in "A Tribute to Albert Camus", "We lived with or against his thought as it was revealed to us in his books – especially The Fall, perhaps the finest and least understood …". Ah well. Such erudition. As my head falls to my chest, my eyes close, the last thought is … tired … so tired. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: The Conquest of Bread classic book of Anarchist Communism Next review: Poems Wallace Stevens Older review: Finnegan's Wake a preview Previous library review: A Season in Hell Next library review: The Plague

  21. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    The follow-up to Christos Tsiolkas’s bestseller The Slap, where a boozy Australian lunatic whomps a friend’s child at a party and creates a hotbed of interpersonal tension over 400 outstandingly boring pages. In The Fall, a different boozy Australian accidentally (or was it intentional?) elbows a child onto the grass, causing him to fall and hurt his pelvis, causing outrage on the streets of Canberra! Are our children ever safe from inebriated philanderers with pointy elbows? Why can’t drunks we The follow-up to Christos Tsiolkas’s bestseller The Slap, where a boozy Australian lunatic whomps a friend’s child at a party and creates a hotbed of interpersonal tension over 400 outstandingly boring pages. In The Fall, a different boozy Australian accidentally (or was it intentional?) elbows a child onto the grass, causing him to fall and hurt his pelvis, causing outrage on the streets of Canberra! Are our children ever safe from inebriated philanderers with pointy elbows? Why can’t drunks wear elbow guards in the presence of the under tens? Find out in this soon-to-be-a-TV series-probably bestseller-definitely. Music by Mark E. Smith and fourteen dole claimants. Contains such songs as: ‘Veggie Burger Boogaloo’ and ‘Aussie Trip-Whip Redux’ and ‘Man Fax Joist Answer King.’ Director: McG. Also: soon to be released, the ravings of a despairing shagger whose semi-fascist dogma supposedly speaks universal truths about the frangibility of mankind. Will appeal to nerdy students and existentialist punk bands with names like Fist of Human or The Seabed Drown Club.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 4* of five The Book Report: Told as a long monologue stretched over several days, Jean-Baptiste Clamence reviews the very great highs of his life as a respected criminal attorney, and the very great lows of his life as a libertine without a discernible conscience or moral compass. He narrates his life to an unseen and unheard Other, a tourist from France in Clamence's adopted home of Amsterdam who runs into Clamence at a seedy bar. At each major turning point in Clamence's life, the narra Rating: 4* of five The Book Report: Told as a long monologue stretched over several days, Jean-Baptiste Clamence reviews the very great highs of his life as a respected criminal attorney, and the very great lows of his life as a libertine without a discernible conscience or moral compass. He narrates his life to an unseen and unheard Other, a tourist from France in Clamence's adopted home of Amsterdam who runs into Clamence at a seedy bar. At each major turning point in Clamence's life, the narrative adds another level of self-serving horribleness, and the reader recognizes the commonality of all people with each other in Clamence's descent...fall...from the peaks of public acclaim and well-wishing into the pits of a personal hell, made up of the deeds done and undone that bend us into new internal shapes with our regrets. My Review: I read La Peste when I was seventeen, and I ***HATED*** it. I was angry at the waste of so much as a single tree to print it, in any and all languages and countries around the world. I despised each and every syllable. I vowed never, ever, ever to read another word by Camus. From that cold winter's night in 1976 to the point I was forced by the Book Circle to pick this book up, I kept to that promise. Well. I sit corrected. La Chute is a fascinating moral tale told by a story-teller of great power and flawless control of his material and his language. (I am reliably informed that the original French is superb; this translation is sterling.) I am so glad that I didn't make the mistake of letting my teenaged judgment stand unchallenged. I would have missed out on a life high point in reading. I am accused, with Clamence, of leading a life grounded in the illusions of one's own superiority, one's own infallible rightness. HA! Wisdom comes, when it does, at a high price...the life of an innocent, the decision to be silent, the power of life and death over a virtual stranger are all things that happen to many, even most, of us; they're not always instantly obvious, of course, so we let them slide away unmarked. But how do *you* know that your call to complain about the service you received didn't result in someone losing a last-chance job, spiraling into depression, and ending her life? You don't. Clamence does. (That didn't happen in the book, by the bye.) This book did what only the very best books written by the very best writers can do: It reoriented my internal compass. Permanently. Read it! Soon!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    The 'cocoon of conventionality' we spin is comforting...but when it is ripped away there is not always a 'butterfly with ethical wings' that emerges. Camus reminds us that our character is both projection and interjection - in and of - the society we live in. The 'cocoon of conventionality' we spin is comforting...but when it is ripped away there is not always a 'butterfly with ethical wings' that emerges. Camus reminds us that our character is both projection and interjection - in and of - the society we live in.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dhanaraj Rajan

    The Opening Line: Camus in an interview given in 1945: "No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked..." My Reactions after/while reading the novel: 1. Camus must be an existentialist and that too an advocate of negative existentialism, that which holds there is no meaning for human existence. In the search for meaning, man is distressed and he dies without any comfort of having received a proper answer. In fact, death liberates him from his struggles. D The Opening Line: Camus in an interview given in 1945: "No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked..." My Reactions after/while reading the novel: 1. Camus must be an existentialist and that too an advocate of negative existentialism, that which holds there is no meaning for human existence. In the search for meaning, man is distressed and he dies without any comfort of having received a proper answer. In fact, death liberates him from his struggles. Death is the saviour. (I warn you that these philosophical understandings are purely subjective and marred by my personal prejudices associated with them). 2. Camus must have been the fan of Jean Paul Sartre, the advocate of negative existentialism. The thoughts expressed in this novel regarding the themes - freedom and judgment - convinced me of it. Sartre held that man is condemned to be free. Out of his freedom when he acts he is held responsible. Thus, it is a joke to say that man is free. For freedom binds man. Camus echoes these thoughts in this novel and in the other novel (The Stranger) that I had read. In this novel, Camus advises that it is better to be a slave of a master than a free man. (Seems to be speaking for Nietzsche's Master and Slave morality!) For as a slave, it is easy to obey and be without any repentance for the actions. Otherwise, the free man acts and becomes the object of judgment for others. Everyone judges the other. No one is exempted. Your neighbour, the one who is sitting close to you, is the first one. What is the duty of a man then? To avoid the judgments. But that is hardly possible. So what is the other option? If you are equal among the equals it is better to be more equal than the other. (Orwell must be smiling!) The way proposed is to confess/accept your failings and misdeeds. Camus also says that no one is innocent, not even Jesus Christ! So, it is better to confess first and then you elevate your position to your advantage. Now, you can judge for you have earned it. He writes: "I grow taller, I breathe freely, I am on the mountain, the plain stretches before my eyes. How intoxicating to feel like God the Father and to hand out definitive testimonials of bad character and habits." Everything else (love, women, work, family, religion) might give temporary relief to escape from the boredom of life. But they are not permanent. Life is basically to dodge the judgment or to be in a better position to judge others. Man, to be completely liberated, has to be judge-penitent. And that is the way the main character defines himself from the beginning. By the way the main character's name is Jean Baptiste Clamence. I found that name rhyming easily with Jean Paul Sartre. Moreover, the name is synonym of the combined professions of Judge (john, the Baptist) and Penitent (Clemency). Camus was very intelligent to put together so many things in so nut shell a form (107 pages). By the way, I have just pointed out few of my impressions relating to some philosophers and philosophical schools. There are other interesting and provocative thoughts as well relating to family, love, women, religion, God, ego, etc. Go for it.....

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    “Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.” The Fall is one of those books which is less of a novel than an exploration of some kind of spiritual or philosophical narrative or truth. The narrator is a self appointed judge who spares no details about the fact that he does in fact love himself in a highly narcissistic manner. It is this manner which lends him to feeling free as to judge humanity, while ironically also judging himself and yet seemingly feeling free fro “Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.” The Fall is one of those books which is less of a novel than an exploration of some kind of spiritual or philosophical narrative or truth. The narrator is a self appointed judge who spares no details about the fact that he does in fact love himself in a highly narcissistic manner. It is this manner which lends him to feeling free as to judge humanity, while ironically also judging himself and yet seemingly feeling free from the burden of being judged. For he is a man who has fallen into a state that means he seems to no longer care about the depravity of depravity and that is in essence what The Fall as a novel discusses. Of course, the finer details of the novel are seen in the little quotes contained within the narrative itself. Which is an interesting aspect of this novel as it stands. The narrative is in its way almost a fourth-wall-breaking stream of consciousness as it seems like the narrator is spilling out all his thoughts in a turbulent stream. It is only the fact that he interjects with directions to the reader that enable you to see that in fact, this is a stream of writing directed at the individual in a kind of accusation. 'You lead me into this depravity', the judge penitent seems to accuse the reader directly, 'You led me into the fall, for all humanity is fallen.' Oh yes, it perhaps is important to mention that uniquely, The Fall is written in the Second Person - an aspect of writing rarely used for any kind of fiction. It has further been noted to me that the concept of 'the fall' comes from a particular bridge scene which I had skimmed over as somewhat less important. It is a scene hidden in all the rambling as the main character moves from being likeable to completely arrogant and back again. This scene is one in which a woman jumps from a bridge into a river and our 'judge penitent' does not rescue her from the water. This is despite many claims by our narrator about how heroic he could be - therefore showing his contradictory nature. Further this highlights what we all can be: contradictions who say one thing but do another - hypocrites. As a work of entertaining fiction I would not recommend Albert Camus' work here. It's fragmented and messy, not at all easy to read. Yet as a work of philosophical and spiritual discussion I highly recommend it. Camus has the profound ability to get to the reader and cause them to question their realities and ask how they have fallen into a state of mistruth and misdirection wherever it may be possible.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    Awesome, powerful, almost scarily compressed, seductive, peppered with ironic humour, unreadable then readable then re-readable. Camus’ Jean-Baptiste strips away the artifice and illusions of civilization having undeniably fallen out of it and hence witnessed the pointlessness of it, striving with the rest of his time to wrench others out too. An easy task, as once the reader is made aware of the absurd, it becomes an obsession, and he or she too would do anything in their power not to return to Awesome, powerful, almost scarily compressed, seductive, peppered with ironic humour, unreadable then readable then re-readable. Camus’ Jean-Baptiste strips away the artifice and illusions of civilization having undeniably fallen out of it and hence witnessed the pointlessness of it, striving with the rest of his time to wrench others out too. An easy task, as once the reader is made aware of the absurd, it becomes an obsession, and he or she too would do anything in their power not to return to (wo)man’s stubborn hope. As bleak as this might sound, self-proclaimed judge-penitent Jean-Baptiste does not perform this act without having fun, without reeling the reader in, deliberately teasing with hints of his future confessions, and measured jabs of dry wit. This is a service he provides to chers compatriotes with pleasure. Why would I then ruin his fun? Read it three times. Pairs well with The Myth of Sisyphus and a large glass of gin, that one and only palliative.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    "True debauchery is liberating because it creates no obligations. In it you possess only yourself, hence it remains the favorite pastime of the great lovers of their own person." "True debauchery is liberating because it creates no obligations. In it you possess only yourself, hence it remains the favorite pastime of the great lovers of their own person."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    "Mon chéri, it seems Amsterdam has disagreed with you. You're so pale." "Ah, mon amour, oui, I never want to leave the Paris sun again. I want to hold you naked and hang my fog-drenched clothes over the terrace to dry and never look at another dismal canal or smoky bar." "But I thought my man liked those things about Amsterdam." "I did, sweet, until I had the misfortune of running into this rather shabby, verbose character...French expat, Jean-Baptiste...well, at least that's what he called himself "Mon chéri, it seems Amsterdam has disagreed with you. You're so pale." "Ah, mon amour, oui, I never want to leave the Paris sun again. I want to hold you naked and hang my fog-drenched clothes over the terrace to dry and never look at another dismal canal or smoky bar." "But I thought my man liked those things about Amsterdam." "I did, sweet, until I had the misfortune of running into this rather shabby, verbose character...French expat, Jean-Baptiste...well, at least that's what he called himself, Jean-Baptiste. Who the hell knows? He struck me as an unreliable narrator. Called himself a "judge-penitent" a lot. Never really explained very well what he meant by it. I think he meant he was a judge who was judging himself, but then made a lot of fuss about judgment being hypocritical and whatnot. Told me all about his libertine adventures, and war stories about being named the pope in a prison camp, and bragged about how he flattered people while laughing behind their backs. A really obnoxious, stuck-up fellow. Kept letting on that he had some kind of profound wisdom but ended up talking in circles and contradicting himself a lot. And I never could get rid of him. He'd show up every day for five days wherever I was, in a bar or on a ferry, and off he'd go again, and he was absolutely impossible to shake. I mean, imagine being accosted for a week by Raskolnikov from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and being subjected to his compulsive confessions hour after hour. Needless to say, I got nothing done on my business trip in Amsterdam." "Goodness, honey, sounds awful!" "It was, it really was. The guy would say things he thought were terribly profound, but when you really took apart what he said, it often was nothing more than just an obvious banality. Take this, for instance...oh yes, I took some shorthand notes when he was nursing his beer and staring off into space...usually into that empty picture frame over the bar, the frame that held a painting by Van Eyck he claimed to have stolen... Anyway, take this for example. He would say something like: 'Be it said, moreover, that as soon as I had re-won that affection I became aware of its weight. In my moments of irritation I told myself that the ideal solution would have been the death of the person I was interested in. Her death would, on the one hand, have definitively fixed our relationship and, on the other, removed its compulsion. But one cannot long for the death of everyone or, in the extreme, depopulate the planet in order to enjoy a freedom that cannot be imagined otherwise.' "So, if you pare that down and remove all the fancy language, he said little more than: 'You can't kill people just to be free of them.' Well, no duh! "But then, he would turn around and say something fairly profound and not beat around the bush about it, such as: 'No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.' "Mr. Self-important Diarrhea Mouth probably won't be able to stop himself from writing a novel about his adventures, and proceed to ruin it by spewing off a bunch of confessional thoughts that he barely takes the time to explore before throwing in 10 more tangents, then throw in a little Amsterdam atmosphere to give it some bare semblance of scene-setting. Knowing the literary critics and academics, they'll probably go apeshit with praise and fall over each other trying to come up with the usual litany of biblical allusions--which seems to be de rigueur for people seeking tenure...Ah but I digress like he did. Alas, he seems to be rubbing off...an unfortunate aftermath. Anyway, I'm well rid of him... Fortunately!"

  29. 4 out of 5

    Luís

    There is a “before” and an “after” The Fall, moment from which our hero, brilliant lawyer, will realize his vanity and the somewhat artificial life’s character. He will try to indulge himself in some illusions by falling in love or indulging in debauchery, but he will eventually fail in Amsterdam. This fact is where he poses as a “penitent” judge, accusing himself of avoiding the judgment of others but also, and by reflection, to blame others. That’s a comprehensive book, rich, complex and distur There is a “before” and an “after” The Fall, moment from which our hero, brilliant lawyer, will realize his vanity and the somewhat artificial life’s character. He will try to indulge himself in some illusions by falling in love or indulging in debauchery, but he will eventually fail in Amsterdam. This fact is where he poses as a “penitent” judge, accusing himself of avoiding the judgment of others but also, and by reflection, to blame others. That’s a comprehensive book, rich, complex and disturbing with themes dear to Albert Camus, such as religion, faith, or even judgment.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy

    I re-read this book twice a year every year, in different languages (French, English or Spanish :) Every chapter (~10 pages) can easily take me two hours (I think only die-hard fans of poetry [or Hegel] can understand this) due to the amount of paradoxes, insights and quality of the prose (o the French surely have a way with being poetic even writing prose [Baudelaire was really on point, as usual in that decadent genius]), not to mention the self-examination and judging others... :) I love this b I re-read this book twice a year every year, in different languages (French, English or Spanish :) Every chapter (~10 pages) can easily take me two hours (I think only die-hard fans of poetry [or Hegel] can understand this) due to the amount of paradoxes, insights and quality of the prose (o the French surely have a way with being poetic even writing prose [Baudelaire was really on point, as usual in that decadent genius]), not to mention the self-examination and judging others... :) I love this book to the point of scaring myself... but then I remember Charles Saatchi's wise words (Be the worst you can be, life is too long for patience and virtue) and feel that everything is okay with me and the world again :) "Saint David Foster Wallace", according to Bret Easton Ellis, is read by "fools": A generation trying to read him feels smart about themselves which is part of the whole bullshit package. I've noticed that Napoleon Complex going on with many grandiose Americans (things I've heard here in China, the two first ones in person and the last one here on Goodreads: "I used to be on the top 5% when living in NY but I hated my job, but still... Loads of money... Loads of money... Loads of money... Hated my job but..." [you get the idea]; "O the lake in my town is the best lake in the world!" [really, bruh? And the Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world but believe me when I say that I'd never mentioned it unless I first come across with a living cliché like you who puts me in the obnoxiously defensive position to]; "I like books which in their first 500 pages you just scratch the surface." [you are in need of a sonnet by Shakespeare, dawg, to realize that a writer can be deep and that you can feel amazed after 14 lines and not 14 hours or days of reading]) even more than with snobby Europeans like me, who in my case I feel smart about myself by appreciating luxurious feather flock masterpieces instead of overlong brick walls (if Americans buy bullshit packages, I guess in Europe we prefer boxes of Swiss chocolates :) Give me (check my shelf "feather flock masterpieces" for more) Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea any day of the week instead of most doorstopper American novels of the last hundred years (many overlong masterpieces written in the 19th century in France, England and Russia already [some in America too, such as Moby Dick, but still not as many], sorry for coming to the club when the happy hour is finished) most people love (Thomas Wolfe's reincarnations in either writers or readers, I'm so very sorry to announce that there isn't such a thing as a Great American Novel in the 20th century who can be compared to James Joyce's Ulysses or Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu [you have the bigger houses/Mc Donald's menus/salaries/bodies/army/nuclear weapons/whatever but we'll always, always have the better art [a historical matter, a historical fact, nothing to do about it], hence the better intellectuals [in artistic matters], artists and/or snobs [an obnoxious New York hipster is a laughable and second-rated thing for an obnoxious posh Parisian :) To fully understand this book, to enjoy it far more, it is quite necessary, at least (who knows the ones I miss), to be familiar with The Holy Bible and Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 3 quotes I link to this book: A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. (Kafka) He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read, but learnt by heart. (Nietzsche) Without a doubt, this is not a novel but a purge of my heart. (Camilo José Cela) To those ones who have a problem with this book being called a novel, I'd like to bring up what Nobel Prize Winner Camilo José Cela, after a lifetime of writing, ended up concluding: After studying what a novel is throughout my whole life I ended up considering that a novel is everything that has the word "novel" as a subtitle. That said, those who want to call it a philosophical essay are entitled to, but what a well-written and poetic philosophical essay (despite the mockery to his Übermensch throughout the whole book, Nietzsche would be proud! :) P.S. An example of the poetic quality I mentioned about this book and a long-winded comment on it: (…) The sky is alive? You are right, cher ami. It thickens, becomes concave, opens up air shafts and closes cloudy doors. Those are the doves. A bad writer (o my poet-professor of literature [it sounds like an oxymoron because it is, in 99.9% of the cases at least], back in Spain, writing lines such as “Beauty hurts me” [not a single good poet in the history of poetry, no matter how romantic or Stendhal syndrome disposed to, has ever written such an inartistic and sugar-coated thing but instead something beautiful which clearly states that "Beauty" did hurt them somehow indeed [if only I could have choked, and get away with it, that pretentious, low IQ and talentless douche I would have done it with the choleraic rage of an overlong incubated vengeance towards all the self-important pricks who have vomited their cheap bubblegum egos on top of somebody who’s actually entitled to have a decently big one yet acts in real life as a simpleton nice guy ‘cause life is hard enough and most human beings unbearable enough without adding to it) would have left it without the clarification “Those are the doves” for the sake of rules that aforementioned some lines ago bad writer read in some manual (truly talented people, whether in art or chess or even seduction, whatever, know that all rules are not only possible to be broken but that them being paradoxical or contradictory in the big picture leaves the artist/chess player/pick-up artist/whatever little choice a priori and they will have to act depending on one’s position going one way or another) are artistic such as being vague/mysterious/abstract/"poetic"/bookish/etc. yet Camus, who knew much better than that, didn’t. It’s what hapened recently with super GM Levon Aronian (FIDE ELO: 2805! 2nd best chess player in the world right now, terrific year this 2017 for him and those of us who enjoyed his almost romantic and highly creative games in the days of chess engines) and GM and journalist Maurice Ashley (nowadays “only” 2440 ELO, I think [still would beat the crap out of me and most chess players, that ELO puts him in the position of being amongst the best 2000 chess players in the world yet a mediocre player for someone like Aronian]) when analizying a game (middle game [the rule Aronian mentions is only well-known by everyone at the opening when you have to develop]): LEVON. —Mmm… I wouldn’t move that piece again… You don’t want to move the same piece various times in chess, you know, it’s the rule… ASHLEY. —I’ve never heard of that rule before! LEVON. —That’s why I’m a great chess player and you are not :) It’s the Schopenhauer explanation, working both ways here for Camus and Aronian are both talented and genius: Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see :)

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