“L'étranger” Sweatshirt in Green Kahlo
In 1942 Albert Camus published what proved to be one of the greatest existential novels of the twentieth century. L’Étranger narrates the life of an aimless, apathetic young man, Meursault, in French-colonial Algeria. It’s remembered for two famous passages. The first is its opening: ‘Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.’ The other comes halfway through, when blinded and bewildered by the sea and the sand on a beach, Meursault shoots dead an unnamed stranger. The passage inspired a song by the arch-miserabilists of the late-twentieth century, the Cure, provocatively entitled ‘Killing an Arab’.
But why does the Arab have no name? And doesn’t this book by Camus bask in imperialism and racism? This is the implicit charge made in an award-winning novel published in English last month. The Meursault Investigation, by the Algerian writer Kamel Daoud, re-imagines the story from the perspective of the dead Arab’s brother…
From Middle French estranger, from Old French estrangier, from estrange + -ier, equivalent to modern French étrange + -er. Cf. also Vulgar Latin *extraneārius, Italian straniero, Portuguese estrangeiro
Unisex sweatshirt in organic coton. Wash inside out.
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