Nevertheless, Harold’s loyal wristwatch saves his life.
Plot Development , Point of View/Narrative, Mood,Tone, Setting
In the film, Stranger Than Fiction, the plot develops from the introduction of Harold’s life and mannerisms, to the struggle Harold has will his life being narrated by an author, to finally his acceptance of his fate and the realization of the importance of his death to the novel.
Allot, Kenneth (Ed) The Penguin Book of Contemporary Verse. Penguin 1980
Dick, Kay. (Ed) Interviews from 'Paris Review'. Penguin 1972
Hayward, John. (Ed) Penguin Book of Verse. Penguin 1981
Hudson, William Henry. An Introduction to the Study of Literature. Harrap 1963
Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita. Penguin 1982
Reeves, James. The Critical Sense. Heinemann 1957
Shakespeare, William. Measure for Measure
The Stranger is not, however, to be regarded as a completely gratuitouswork. Camus distinguishes, as we have mentioned, between the notionand the feeling of the absurd. He says, in this connection, “Deep feelings,like great works, are always more meaningful than they are aware ofbeing. . . . An intense feeling carries with it its own universe, magniﬁcentor wretched, as the case may be” (The Myth of Sisyphus). And headds, a bit further on, “The feeling of the absurd is not the same as theidea of the absurd. The idea is grounded in the feeling, that is all. Itdoes not exhaust it." The Myth of Sisyphus might be said to aim atgiving us this idea, and The Stranger at giving us the feeling.
Personally, passages of outstanding literary writing such as the following, convince me that words are the highest form of expression available to mankind:
The order in which the two works appeared seems to conﬁrm thishypothesis. The Stranger, the ﬁrst to appear, plunges us without commentinto the “climate” of the absurd; the essay then comes and illumines thelandscape. Now, absurdity means divorce, discrepancy. The Stranger isto be a novel of discrepancy, divorce and disorientation; hence its skillfulconstruction.
Or, you know, you can just read The Stranger because it's a crazy-important and seminal text of the 20th Century and helped Albert Camus win a Nobel Prize. It's a win-win situation… unlike a lot of the absurd situations you come across in this crazy, messed-up world.
Writers aim to show us 'the world', but no single writer can do this, and 'literature' should encompass numerous different kinds of writer because each is trying to show us something which cannot be shown as a whole. Each, whether a Tolstoy or a Raymond Chandler, can only give us his own small fragment of understanding. Ultimately it is those works which endure that should be considered 'literature', those which have succeeded in holding firm a fragment of life, to be seen, to be read, to be understood.
He is not concerned, then, with so ordering words as to suggest an inhuman,undecipherable order; the inhuman is merely the disorderly, themechanical. There is nothing ambiguous in his work, nothing disquieting,nothing hinted at. The Stranger gives us a succession of luminouslyclear views. If they bewilder us, it is only because of their number andthe absence of any link between them. Camus likes bright mornings,clear evenings, and relentless afternoons. His favorite season is Algiers’eternal summer. Night has hardly any place in his universe.
In each Coetzee compares previous versions with the new, and makes some observations; some of it might seem like nit-picking, but it gives a general sense of what Coetzee believes to be the translations' strengths and weaknesses (and presumably helps in at least reminding readers of the compromises made when literature is read in translation).
In like manner Camus expatiates on love in The Myth of Sisyphus.“It is only on the basis of a collective way of seeing, for which books andlegends are responsible, that we give the name love to what binds us tocertain human beings.” And similarly, we read in The Stranger: “Soshe wanted to know whether I loved her. I answered . . . that it didn'tmean anything, but that I probably didn't love her.” From this point ofview, the debate in the courtroom and in the reader's mind as to whetheror not Meursault loved his mother is doubly absurd.
When he does talk of it, it is in the following terms: “I awakenedwith stars about my face. Country noises reached my ears. My templeswere soothed by odors of night, earth, and salt. The wonderful peaceof that sleepy summer invaded me like a tide” (The Stranger). The manwho wrote these lines is as far removed as possible from the anguish ofa Kafka. He is very much at peace within disorder. Nature's obstinateblindness probably irritates him, but it comforts him as well. Itsirrationality is only a negative thing. The absurd man is a humanist; he knowsonly the good things of this world.
The only author ever to win the Booker Prize twice, J. M. Coetzee is one of the world’s greatest novelists. Now his many admirers can have the pleasure of reading his significant body of literary criticism. This volume gathers together for the first time in book form twenty-six pieces on books and writing. Stranger Shores opens with “What Is a Classic?” in which Coetzee explores the answer to his own question – “What does it mean in living terms to say that the classic is what survives?” – by way of T. S. Eliot, Johann Sebastian Bach and Zbigniew Herbert. His subjects range from the great eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writers Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Ivan Turgenev to the great German modernists Rilke, Kafka, and Musil to the giants of late-twentieth-century literature, among them Harry Mulisch, Joseph Brodsky, Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Amos Oz, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer, and Doris Lessing.
In my view it comes down to subjective value judgements. I believe literature is a 'broad church' which ought to be able to deal with any subject, and that ultimately it is individual readers, or readers en masse, who decide on the value of any particular work and on whether or not it deserves a place in the annals of literary history.