"L'Étranger" and the Messianic Myth, or Meursault Unmasked.

O'Donohoe, Benedict (2007) "L'Étranger" and the Messianic Myth, or Meursault Unmasked. PhaenEx Journal of Existenial and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, 2 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 19111576

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This paper attacks received ideas about Camus’s iconic hero as honest, modest, innocent, and even messianic. Reviewing these notions, first, as collated in Édouard Morot-Sir’s critical conspectus, ‘Actualité de L’Étranger’ (1996), I trace them back to Sartre’s seminal critique (1943), then to Camus’s characterisation of Meursault as ‘the only Christ we deserve’, in 1955. By close reading of the text, I show that, far from being the modern messiah of authenticity, Meursault is in fact a monster of male chauvinism and an unreconstructed misogynist, whose much-vaunted indifference and amorality only thinly disguise a psychopathology of autism, egotism, paranoia and sadism.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > Sussex Centre for Language Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Benedict O'Donohoe
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:31
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2012 11:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26372
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