The Plague, the Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays
By Albert Camus
Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9781400042555, 696pp.
Publication Date: August 17, 2004
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From one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers of the twentieth century two novels, six short stories, and a pair of essays in a single volume. In both his essays and his fiction, Albert Camus (1913 1960) de-ployed his lyric eloquence in defense against despair, providing an affirmation of the brave assertion of humanity in the face of a universe devoid of order or meaning.
"The Plague" written in 1947 and still profoundly relevant is a riveting tale of horror, survival, and resilience in the face of a devastating epidemic. "The Fall" (1956), which takes the form of an astonishing confession by a French lawyer in a seedy Amsterdam bar, is a haunting parable of modern conscience in the face of evil. The six stories of "Exile and the Kingdom "(1957) represent Camus at the height of his narrative powers, masterfully depicting his characters from a renegade missionary to an adulterous wife at decisive moments of revelation. Set beside their fictional counterparts, Camus's famous essays The Myth of Sisyphus and Reflections on the Guillotine are all the more powerful and philosophically daring, confirming his towering place in twentieth-century thought.
“Today The Plague takes on fresh significance…Looking back on the grim record of the twentieth century, we can see more clearly now that Albert Camus had identified the central moral dilemmas of the age.” –The Guardian
“[The Plague is] of such importance to our time that to dismiss it would be to blaspheme against the human spirit.” –New York Times Book Review
“Extraordinary . . . There are things in [The Plague] which no reader will ever forget.” –The Spectator
“[The Fall is] an irresistibly brilliant examination of modern conscience.” –New York Times
“[The Fall is] uniquely Camus. Beneath its wit, elegance, and irony there is no lack of intelligence, troubled earnestness, and perhaps even the moral anguish of the true religieux.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“[The Fall], so spare and lucid (like the best of Gide), burning with wit (like pages from Voltaire), is a…monologue on the human condition.” –The Nation
With a new Introduction by David Bellos