Sunday, May 09, 2010

Existentialism

"Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW. DEEP SYMPATHY. Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could've been yesterday." -Albert Camus, The Stranger

Albert Camus' existential literary masterpiece begins with these (haunting) words. On today, Mother's Day, this quote came to mind. I thought, 'how could someone be so detached from life, from family, from reality to be so nonchalant about his or her mother's death? To not remember the day, the hour, the moment? Obviously, this is a bit of a stretch in the writer's world of this novel as it serves to engage with the reader's thinking, questions, ideas about reality and humanity and life. I know this. But I still find it interesting (and haunting).

It's not just an existential question or problem. It's a human one. And we really should be asking more questions like this, about ourselves (if we want to be really honest) more often.

1 comment:

Mohamed Mughal said...

A great novel by a great writer....although I have reservations about making it my Mother's Day reading :)