Albert Camus ✧ The Fall. 1. THE FALL. A Novel by. ALBERT CAMUS. Translated by JUSTIN O'BRIEN. VINTAGE BOOKS. A Division of Random House. Camus, Albert - The Fall · Read more Montherlant et Camus: Une lignee nietzscheenne (Archives Albert Camus). Read more. The Fall (French: La Chute) is a philosophical novel by Albert Camus. First published in , .. The Fall study guide and teaching guide; La Chute, Les Classiques des sciences sociales ; Word, PDF, RTF formats, public domain in Canada.
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Elegantly styled, Camus' profoundly disturbing novel of a Parisian lawyer's confessions is a searing study of modern amorality. Sep 5, PDF | May I, monsieur, offer my services without running the risk of intruding?” This is the opening of Albert Camus' novela “The Fall” as a vivid. View Notes - Camus () 'The Fall' (45 pages).pdf from PHI at Arizona State University. THE FALL A Novel by ALBERT CAMUS Translated by JUSTIN.
He does not take these cases out of a sense of benevolence, but rather as a way of acquiring fame for himself.
CAMUS, Albert - The Stranger
His ego is limitless and his sense of need to be adored overpowering. For a very long time, he lives without self-doubt - utilizing his considerable natural gifts to maintain a sense of success. One night, however, he is the sole witness when a young woman throws herself from a bridge to her death.
This is a turning point for Clamence.
Though he wants to save the young woman, he finds himself paralyzed by fear. For the first time in his life he realizes the extent of his own weakness.
Certainly this incident continues to haunt Clamence through the rest of the text, but it is only when combined with another episode that the woman's suicide becomes so destructive to Clamence's frail skeleton of conceit and self-righteousness. On another night, crossing another bridge, Clamence hears laughter behind him. Turning, he sees no one. This signals a change in Clamence's frame of mind - the full implications of which even Clamence himself may not realize.
Because the laughter does not come from anyone outside of him, it must be instead an echo of his own mind. 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. If I had been the friend of truth and intelligence I claimed to be, what would that episode have mattered to me?
Albert Camus - The Fall
It was already forgotten by those who had witnessed it. Having realized this, he can no longer live the way he once did. Crisis[ edit ] Clamence initially attempts to resist the sense that he has lived hypocritically and selfishly. He argues with himself over his prior acts of kindness, but quickly discovers that this is an argument he cannot win.
He reflects, for example, that whenever he had helped a blind man across the street — something he especially enjoyed doing — he would doff his hat to the man. Since the blind man obviously cannot see this acknowledgement, Clamence asks, "To whom was it addressed?
To the public. After playing my part, I would take my bow" Camus As a result, he comes to see himself as duplicitous and hypocritical.
The realization that his whole life has been lived in hypocrisy and denial precipitates an emotional and intellectual crisis for Clamence which, moreover, he is unable to avoid, having now discovered it; the sound of laughter that first struck him on the Pont des Arts slowly begins to permeate his entire existence. In fact, Clamence even begins laughing at himself as he defends matters of justice and fairness in court.
Unable to ignore it, Clamence attempts to silence the laughter by throwing off his hypocrisy and ruining the reputation he acquired therefrom. Clamence thus proceeds to "destroy that flattering reputation" Camus primarily by making public comments that he knows will be received as objectionable: telling beggars that they are "embarrassing people," declaring his regret at not being able to hold serfs and beat them at his whim, and announcing the publication of a "manifesto exposing the oppression that the oppressed inflict on decent people.
Clamence eventually realizes that his attempts at self-derision can only fail, and the laughter continues to gnaw at him. This is because his actions are just as dishonest: "In order to forestall the laughter, I dreamed of hurling myself into the general derision.
In fact, it was still a question of dodging judgment. I wanted to put the laughters on my side, or at least to put myself on their side" Camus Ultimately, Clamence responds to his emotional-intellectual crisis by withdrawing from the world on precisely those terms.
Albert Camus- THE FALL.pdf
He closes his law practice, avoids his former colleagues in particular and people in general, and throws himself completely into uncompromising debauchery; while humankind may be grossly hypocritical in the areas from which he has withdrawn, "no man is a hypocrite in his pleasures" Camus — a quotation from Samuel Johnson.
Debauchery women and alcohol does prove a temporarily effective means of silencing the laughter--the biting sense of his own hypocrisy--because, as he explains, it thoroughly dulls his wits. Unfortunately, he finds himself unable to maintain this lifestyle due to personal failings that he describes as follows: " The original was stolen in and never recovered. The last of Clamence's monologues takes place in his apartment in the former Jewish Quarter, and recounts more specifically the events which shaped his current outlook; in this regard his experiences during the Second World War are crucial.
With the outbreak of war and the fall of France, Clamence considers joining the French Resistance , but decides that doing so would ultimately be futile. I think especially that underground action suited neither my temperament nor my preference for exposed heights. It seemed to me that I was being asked to do some weaving in a cellar, for days and nights on end, until some brutes should come to haul me from hiding, undo my weaving and then drag me to another cellar to beat me to death.
I admired those who indulged in such heroism of the depths but couldn't imitate them. But after the Allies land in Africa , Clamence is arrested by the Germans and thrown into a concentration camp — "chiefly [as] a security measure," he assures himself Camus While interned, Clamence meets a comrade, introduced to the reader only as "Du Guesclin", who had fought in the Spanish Civil War , was captured by "the Catholic general", and now found himself in the hands of the Germans in Africa.
These experiences subsequently caused the man to lose his faith in the Catholic Church and perhaps in God as well ; as a form of protest Du Guesclin announces the need for a new Pope — one who will "agree to keep alive, in himself and in others, the community of our sufferings" — to be chosen from among the prisoners in the camp.
As the man with "the most failings," Clamence jokingly volunteers himself, but finds that the other prisoners agree with his appointment. As a result of being selected to lead a group of prisoners as "Pope," Clamence is afforded certain powers over them, such as how to distribute food and water and deciding who will do what kind of work.
No, no, it wasn't Du Guesclin; he was already dead, I believe, for he stinted himself too much" Camus Clamence then relates the story of how a famous fifteenth-century painting, a panel from the Ghent Altarpiece known as The Just Judges , came into his possession. One evening a regular patron of Mexico City entered the bar with the priceless painting and sold it for a bottle of jenever to the bartender who, for a time, displayed the piece prominently on the wall of his bar.
Both the man who sold the painting and the now-vacant place on the wall where it hung are cryptically pointed out at the beginning of the novel.
The location of Amsterdam, as a city below sea-level, therefore assumes particular significance in relation to the narrator.
Moreover, Amsterdam is generally described in The Fall as a cold, wet place where a thick blanket of fog constantly hangs over the crowded, neon-light-lined streets. Beside the atmosphere which could be established almost anywhere else the city also was chosen by Camus for a more peculiar reason.
The middle-class hell, of course, peopled with bad dreams. When one comes from the outside, as one gradually goes through those circles, life — and hence its crimes — becomes denser, darker. Here, we are in the last circle.
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The bar, Mexico City, did exist in Amsterdam. Indeed, critics have explored at length the parallels between Clamence's fall and Dante 's descent through Hell in the Inferno see Galpin, King.
It is also significant, particularly as Camus develops his philosophical ideas, that the story develops against the backdrop of the Second World War and the Holocaust. Clamence tells us that he lives only a short distance from Mexico City, in what was — formerly — the Jewish Quarter , "until our Hitlerian brethren spaced it out a bit.
I am living on the site of one of the greatest crimes in history" Camus The naming of the bar also recalls the destruction of the Aztec civilization whose ruined capital has been supplanted by modern Mexico City.
Among other things, The Fall is an attempt to explain how humankind could be capable of perpetrating such evils. Thus, Clamence serves as interpreter and he and the stranger, having discovered that they are fellow compatriots who, moreover, both hail from Paris, begin discussing more substantive matters. Clamence tells us that he used to lead an essentially perfect life in Paris as a highly successful and well-respected defence lawyer. The vast majority of his work centred around "widow and orphan" cases, that is, the poor and disenfranchised who otherwise would be unable to provide themselves with a proper defence before the law.
He also relates anecdotes about how he always enjoyed giving friendly directions to strangers on the streets, yielding to others his seat on the bus, giving alms to the poor, and, above all, helping the blind to cross the street. In short, Clamence conceived of himself as living purely for the sake of others and "achieving more than the vulgar ambitious man and rising to that supreme summit where virtue is its own reward" Camus Late one night when crossing the Pont Royal on his way home from his "mistress", however, Clamence comes across a woman dressed in black leaning over the edge of the bridge.
He hesitates for a moment, thinking the sight strange at such an hour and given the barrenness of the streets, but continues on his way nevertheless. He had only walked a short distance when he heard the distinct sound of a body hitting the water.
Clamence stops walking, knowing exactly what has happened, but does nothing — in fact, he doesn't even turn around. The silence that followed, as the night suddenly stood still, seemed interminable.
I wanted to run and yet didn't move an inch. I was trembling, I believe from cold and shock. I told myself that I had to be quick and felt an irresistible weakness steal over me.
I have forgotten what I thought then. I was still listening as I stood motionless.
Then, slowly, in the rain, I went away. I told no one.
He later elaborates that his failure to do anything was most probably because doing so would have required him to put his own personal safety in jeopardy. Several years after the apparent suicide of the woman off the Pont Royal — and an evidently successful effort to purge the entire event from his memory — Clamence is on his way home one autumn evening after a particularly pleasing day of work.
The day had been good: a blind man, the reduced sentence I had hoped for, a cordial handclasp from my client, a few generous actions and, in the afternoon, a brilliant improvisation in the company of several friends on the hard-handedness of our governing class and the hypocrisy of our leaders.
I felt rising within me a vast feeling of power and — I don't know how to express it — of completion, which cheered my heart. I straightened up and was about to light a cigarette, the cigarette of satisfaction, when, at that very moment, a laugh burst out behind me.
Nevertheless, he tells us that "I could still hear it distinctly behind me, coming from nowhere unless from the water. The unlucky coincidence for Clamence here is that he is reminded of this precisely at the moment when he is congratulating himself for being such a selfless individual. Furthermore, the laughter is described as a "good, hearty, almost friendly laugh," whereas, mere moments later, he describes himself as possessing a "good, hearty badger" Camus 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.
I think especially that underground action suited neither my temperament nor my preference for exposed heights. He argues with himself over his prior acts of kindness, but quickly discovers that this is an argument he cannot win.
In a bar in 20th century Amsterdam, the narrator, Jean-Baptiste Clamence - a one-time Parisian lawyer and power-hungry narcissist - meets a fellow French ex-patriot and former lawyer. Unless you authorize me to plead your case, he will not guess that you want gin.
I am living on the site of one of the greatest crimes in history" Camus I wanted to put the laughters on my side, or at least to put myself on their side" Camus Even in the details of daily life, I need to feel above ".
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