“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth”
Albert Camus, Paris, 1955.
Written by an outsider about an outsider, L'Étranger holds an irresistible fascination for all those who read it. The author, Albert Camus, came from an illiterate family in Algeria, a pied-noir, neither fully at home in either Algeria or France, or anywhere else for that matter. Meursault, the main character, is also alienated from his surroundings, and eventually kills an Arab without really understanding why. First published in 1942, the novel still speaks to us — witness how societies in the West and elsewhere are still grappling with what to do with "the other", as the rise in both Islamic violence and Islamophobia would attest.