Camus’ “The Stranger,” re-read

This is the newer 1988 translation by Matthew Ward. Yes, I’m that old. Seems to be a different experience, though I did not have the old version at hand…even more spare and bleak. In his notes, Ward gives an example of he original French, “Il etait avec son chien,” which I and Ward both translate as “He was with his dog,” as compared to the old Gilbert version, “As usual, he had his dog with him.” (!!!). Hello? Gilbert died today….how many French works need a new translation??? I hope to make a more thorough comparison when I can locate a Gilbert, though I’m not sure I could manage a complete read in French.
Ward provides another insight in his notes:
“As Richard Howard pointed out…..time reveals all translation to be paraphrase.”

Camus’ protagonist Meursault, who admittedly kills a man, is sentenced to death. The sentence seems to be the result of an overambitious prosecution which evokes the now infamous case of the Texas man wrongly executed for arson-murder because he seemed not to be appropriately distraught (and because of erroneous “expert” testimony).


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