London: Hamish Hamilton, 1946. First English language edition. First UK edition, preceding the first American edition. A lovely, Fine copy of the book in a nearly Fine dust jacket with minor wear and tear at the crown, otherwise, bright and lovely. Rarely seen in this condition.
Camus’ groundbreaking debut, first published in France in 1942, positioned him as one of Europe's most influential existentialist thinkers (though Camus himself would resist that label). Written in the lead up to the Nazi invasion, The Outsider follows the protagonist Meursault, a French Algerian, as he learns of his mother's death, commits a murder the same day, and is ultimately sentenced to death. Throughout the experiene, Meursault eschews all of the expected human emtions; he is detached from bourgeious feelings, focusing instead on the absolute absurdity of life. Before Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, becoming the first African-born laureate, he explained that the novel was inspired by "a remark I admit was highly paradoxical: 'In our society, a man who doesn not weep at his funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.'...the hero of my book is condemned because he does not play the game" (Carroll). A foundational and brilliant part of the modern literary-philosophical canon. Fine in Near Fine dust jacket. (Item #2263)