The Plague – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plague


Have you ever read Albert Camus’ The Plague? If not, I recommend it, if only for a particular scene which really struck a chord with me. It was when the two men, Tarrou and Rieux, go swimming in the ocean and don’t say a single thing as they escape the city, just for a night.

In the book, Camus writes: “une mer tojours égale”, which translates to, “the unchanging sea.” Camus writes about how, over time, the sea becomes less and less real to the Oranians that it becomes something far away and inaccessible. He writes, “although the sea is there, it exists in the background.”

When the two men swim out together into the sea, he writes: “solitaires, loin du monde, libérés enflin de la ville et de la peste” (“Alone, far from the world, at last free of the city and the plague.”)

I think this particular scene has the character of a symbolic ritual.

When they swim back together with the evening lights of the city visible in the distance, the chapter ends, “qu’il fallait maintenant recommencer.” (“It was now necessary to begin again.”)

They return with a strange and secret happiness.

“It was now necessary to begin again.”

It’s a sense of having been recalled to something, to have that experience and be conscious of it in that way.
To be conscious of a “first.”

And it immediately makes me think about another part in The Plague where Rieux tells Tarrou that it’s easier to be a saint than a man.

Advertisements

About Klassy

How Klassy got her groove back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: