Nick’s first time took place when he was fourteen and one a cold basement floor. Me, when I was nineteen, in the dark room in the basement I called The Cave, on a bed beneath Christmas lights set to flash on and off.
The first time I read The Stranger, of course.
Nick’s got short review and reflection on American Existentialism, springing off of a tome called Existential America (
christmasWishList.add(book);). Might be worth a browse. Much of my Existentialist reading has come from surveys, werd, except for the primary stuff like The Stranger, The Plague, Nausea, Existentialism and Human Emotions, and about twenty pages of Being and Nothingness.
So where was I? Oh, yes, L’Etranger, which I read when I was looking for Existenialist stuff. Man, that was a philosophy for me. All the books were thin! So I took two. The Stranger and The Outsider. After I polished off The Stranger, I started The Outsider and suddenly, I understood the circular meaninglessness of everyday existence. Deja vu with disappointment. The Outsider had the same first page as The Stranger! What an artistic statement! Or perhaps it was just that the British translation had a different title. It’s something I have speculated on in many coffeeshops.
Regardless, if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. Especially for those of you who want to impress your book clubs by selecting a philosophical novel, but a short philosophical novel.