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The Adulterous Woman (2000)

by Albert Camus(Favorite Author)
3.66 of 5 Votes: 5
0141195843 (ISBN13: 9780141195841)
Penguin Books
review 1: Caught deep in the throws of the human condition, the protagonists in this collection of three short stories find themselves tussling against the stark nature of life, challenged by the complexity of human relationships and entangled in a web of conflicting motivations.Written in keen and rich language, and paced with a slow but progressive temperament, Camus' masterful stories are a clear reminder that the price of harbouring infinite complexity in our skulls, is a haunting emptiness and eternal struggle to find purpose.
review 2: A childless couple, married for 25 years, their love in its last embers, dying. They are in a place of sand, Arabs, starry night skies and silent evenings.Don't get excited about the title. We all know Albert Camus's stories are full
... more of somber and unhappy words like death, dying, silence, cold, solitude, emptiness, meaninglessness, bare (walls), meager (light), void, boredom, (vast) melancholy and so on. This ends, in fact, with the woman, Janine, crying in bed, telling her husband "It's nothing, dear. It's nothing."It was indeed nothing which made her cry. Earlier, while her husband was still asleep in bed she went out of their hotel room. She went out into the darkness, into the black sky, its millions of stars with the night's silence broken only by the muffled crackling of stones that the cold was reducing to sand. Then--"After a moment...it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually toward the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained toward the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans...."A tryst with the mystical. Her guilt was immense.Postscript:A literature professor many years ago told us, his students, that had Camus not died prematurely in a car accident he might have become a believer. Was this the story which made him say that? less
Reviews (see all)
“Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.” (Albert Camus)
Great read! Core message: people are never satisfied with what they have.
Classic Camus. Discovery of the self. And the desert.
Wonderful character studies.
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