📙 The Outsider

(Albert Camus | 1913–1960)

Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

The laconic masterpiece — The Outsider — by Albert Camus is about a Frenchman who murders an Arab in colonial Algeria. The work is famous for the way it diagnoses the state of alienation and spiritual exhaustion which sociologists sat summed up the mood of mid-twentieth century Europe. To this day, the book continues to be relevant and remains one of the most widely read and influential works of the 20th century.

Albert Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He was also a philosopher and journalist.

His other notable works include:

* The Rebel is a philosophical exploration of the idea of ‘rebellion’ that ooks at artistic and political rebels throughout history, from Epicurus to the Marquis de Sade.

** The Myth of Sisyphus is a summation of the existentialist philosophy threaded throughout all of his other writing. Camus poses the fundamental question: is life worth living? If human existence holds no significance, what can keep us from suicide? As Camus argues, if there is no God to give meaning to our lives, humans must take on that purpose themselves. This is our ‘absurd’ task, like Sisyphus forever rolling his rock up a hill, as the inevitability of death constantly overshadows us.

✍🏻 Blinding Light

[ part 2 of 2 ]

I see a white car and I want it to be black;
No colours anymore I want all to be black.


— everything’s loaded whether we know it or not.

Colours, like numbers, have implications.

Speaking for me, my true colours are neutral for nowadays I really don’t prejudge. I can say this for the following reason: I’ve read heartache that’s been penned by those on both sides of the gender divide (as well as those of neither or both); those from most continents and confessions (or none); those that’ve been written recently and those set down several millennia ago. It holds then, that ‘Love’ is colourblind (as are the feelings of heartache, longing, regret and remorse). So, I am as one with anyone (anywhere, anytime) who is suffering from the loss of a lover, I’m here, I do deeply feel for you.

Ms black

  Suffice to say Ms Victoria Black, you’re the:
   lady in red: sophisticated & open;
   you are the unknown citizen at rainbow’s end.
   I’ll seek you to eternity come, you’re the one;
   I’ll take the left fork then I’ll take the write one two;
   I’ll dig and etch, I’ll read and I’ll try to do right.
   Forgive me sisters for I have done wretched wrongs.
   Forgive me mother for I have so badly sinned.

See part one (1 of 2)

Charles Perrault

(French | 1628–1703)

A French author and member of the Académie Française. He laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from earlier folk tales. The best known of his tales include Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots), La Belle au bois Dormant (The Sleeping Beauty) and Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard).

Some of Perrault’s versions of old stories influenced the German versions published by the Brothers Grimm more than 100 years later. Perrault was an influential figure in the 17th-century French literary scene, and was the leader of the Modern faction during the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns.


Little Red Riding Hood


Cinderella


Puss in Boots


The Sleeping Beauty


Bluebeard

📙 Catcher in the Rye

J. D. Salinger | American | 1919–2010

Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused, frightened and sickened by human behaviour…

…you’ll learn from those, if you want to; it isn’t education, it is history and it is poetry.

Noted for its themes of angst and alienation and its critique on superficiality in society, Catcher in the Rye is often listed as one of the best novels of the twentieth century. The work is regarded as, “the defining work on what it is like to be a teenager;” although it is a bit dated now. It is usually placed alongside The Great Gatsby as being a classic of the post WWII era.

J. D. Salinger is a classic writer in the sense that he took his writing very seriously. He was was known to have locked himself up for hours and hours every single day. He’d write, revise, edit, rewrite again and again (and again). Arguably, Salinger wrote to collect his thoughts and ideas for his own peace of mind and mental health (i.e., not to get rich).

Don’t ever tell anybody anything.

Winterson’s “Oranges” & “Why?”

(1959– )

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is considered to be a classic “coming-of-age” novel however, it is known to basically be a memoir. The book is about a girl, who incidentally is lesbian, growing up in a strict religious household in a small English town. It is, as somebody wrote, British author Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Künstlerroman.’*

Half a lifetime later Winterson kind of rewrote it in, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? These to books are inseparably connected as they are in fact two versions of the same story. The youthful one with more fairytales narrated in an experimental way (written at 26 years of age); the second, with more philosophical and political ponderings, the work of the same storyteller in her mid-50s.


* Künstlerroman (German; plural -ane) means a narrative about an artist’s growth to maturity.

Anaïs Nin’s “Delta of Venus”

(1903–1977)

Anaïs Nin was one of the key diarists of the 20th century. Her most famous work though was Delta of Venus. According to Penguin Modern Classics, this book was as influential and revelatory in its day as Fifty Shades of Grey is today. Delta of Venus is now considered to be a groundbreaking anthology of erotic short stories. Each of the 14 stories is written in a vibrant and impassioned prose that literary critics say, evoke the essence of female sexuality in a world where, “only love has meaning.”

Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.

Nin’s diaries chronicle her search for fulfillment in what was often for women a painfully restrictive era (I’d say to be a woman today is still pretty fucking difficult, men love to objectify and control the ‘fairer sex’ [sic]*). She began these diaries in 1914 at the age of eleven and kept writing them until she passed away, some 60 years later.

In 1936 she published House of Incest a 72-page novel, where she vividly narrated incidents with her father that highlighted the inappropriate physical relationship she had with him. The book contemplates a dream that she calls ‘hell’, a hell that she wants to break loose from, a nightmare that she wants to wake up from, but seems to be trapped within.

We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Anaïs Nin is said to have classified herself into the erotica genre without any sense of shame and is now considered to be one of the boldest female writers of erotica, with a renowned ability to project astutely both ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ characters (indeed, she may be one of the best full stop, can you name a better fe/male writer of erotica? Fifty Shades was also penned by a female author).

You cannot save people, you can only love them.


* It’s an unfortunate fact that throughout history women have often been valued based largely on their looks. The term ‘fairer sex’ also implies delicateness. The phrases is now considered dated and, when used, may also have humorous (sic) intentions. The phrase’s etymology is ever so interesting!

‘sic’ used in brackets — [sic] — after a copied or quoted phrase is used to point out that while the phrases may be misspelt, odd or erroneous it is true to the original author’s words. Think of Donald Trump’s June 2019 Tweet ‘cocked and loaded.’ The usual idiom is “locked and loaded”, for which dates back to WWII and means literally: to prepare a firearm for firing by pulling back and ‘locking’ the bolt and loading the ammunition, and figuratively: to ready oneself for action or confrontation.