Thursday, August 17, 2006

Killing an Arab

Now, before you get all worked up about the title for this entry, keep in mind that it's also the title of a Cure song -- a Cure song, incidentally, inspired by the book that's the subject of this entry.

I read an amusing Maureen Dowd column yesterday titled "Camus Comes to Crawford." (The link won't take you to the column unless you subscribe to TimesSelect.) My interest couldn't help but be piqued when I saw that title, because Camus is my favorite philosopher. (I really think of him more as a writer, though.) I was curious to see what role Camus would play in Dowd's skewering of GW.

For whatever reason, Bush actually read The Stranger (my favorite book, once affectionately referred to as my Bible) while on vacation at his ranch in Crawford. (Yeah, I know it's redundant to say that he was on vacation.) And he claims to have liked it. (He must've heard that Cheney liked it.)

Dowd does a pretty good job of mocking the absurdity of GW reading Camus. But she concludes that perhaps it's not such a crazy thing.

"The Stranger" is about the emotionally detached Meursault, who makes a lot of bad decisions and pre-emptively kills an Arab in the sand. Get it? Camus's protagonist moves through an opaque, obscure and violent world that is indifferent to his beliefs and desires. Get it?

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