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402Philosophy and Literature deeds" (p. 38) and dius "must make die tiiird trip to vindicate his honor" (p. 43). In supporting this diesis, Showalter neglects to consider Meursault's initial silence and apparent indifference to becoming Raymond's "pal," his wilüng passivity in die first encounter, his comment diat it would be "pretty lousy" to shoot the Arab without provocation, and his immediate (not "eventual") mention of die attraction of die spring during die final walk. This reductionist view of Meursault also flaws Showalter's interpretation of the protagonist's relationship widi Marie. In order to buttress his argument diat Meursault is deceitful, he argues that he is playing games when he asks Marie if she has noticed how beautiful passing girls are, and when he does not inquire where she is going when they separate. For Showalter this is a game of male dominance: Meursault "knows it, she knows it, and she forgives him because his embarrassment is a concession" (p. 63). We do not know it, however, because die text does not support this view. Meursault is embarrassed because Marie catches him in his indifference; he has not played the dominant male game ofjealousy. Nodiing in Marie's words or conduct suggests diat she diinks Meursault is being anything but honest. Most disconcerting is that Showalter, elsewhere die very model of scrupulous adherence to the rules of evidence, proceeds in this matter by assertion or very selective use of evidence. Overall, however, Showalter's study is intelligent and balanced. In a very stimulating and clear manner, he introduces the reader to many of the most important modern interpretations of The Stranger, syndiesizing diem along with his own very probing insights into a coherent and generally valid reading of this inexhaustibly rich masterpiece. Whitman CollegeDale Cosper Camus: A Critical Examination, by David Sprintzen; xix & 310 pp. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988, $34.95. As Camus wrote for diose who cannot speak for themselves, so David Sprintzen has written for Camus whose voice has been silenced. In general, Sprintzen incorporates into his study that generous consideration of the ideas of the other of which Camus himself and several of his most impressive characters are die principal models. Apparently enacting Camus's "civilisation du dialogue," widi both die absent Camus and die reader, Sprintzen traces the Reviews403 notions ofrevolt, dialogue, and community from the earliest essays to the stories of Exile and the Kingdom. Thus, the "critical examination" of the tide has a narrower focus than one might expect. Although the consideration of Camus's work as a whole occasionally leads to inaccuracies in die analysis ofparticular works—for example, Sprintzen calls the protagonist of The Stranger, "Patrice Meursault," an unfortunate conflation of diis character with the protagonist of? Happy Death—Sprintzen nonedieless succeeds impressively in fulfilling his introductory pledge to Camus to consider not isolated books but Camus's entire oeuvre. The essential text for Sprintzen, however, one he never loses sight ofand to which he devotes seventy-five pages ofclose analysis, is TL· Rebel. Ofthe many elucidations ofthe theme ofrebellion in Camus's works, Sprintzen's, in diis reviewer's opinion, is among the best. One finds probing and original insights into such works as TL· Stranger, Caligula, and The Fall, and a most thorough, generous, and convincing reading of TL· Rebel. Especially valuable is Sprintzen's tracing of the theme of rebellion and art as it achieves its first explicit formulation in The Myth of Sisyphus and culminates in its final political form in The Rebel. Sprintzen justifies yet another book-length study of Camus by noting that his work has "fallen through the cracks in our intellectual subculture" with the result that "few have adequately appreciated its cultural significance" (p. xiii). It is vitally important, avers Sprintzen, that this oversight be corrected, for our precarious modern society neglects at its own peril the "constructive suggestions" in Camus's works for "the dilemmas of our age" (p. xiii). The chief value of Camus's philosophy, the audior suggests, is that it probes our culture at its metaphysical foundations. Sprintzen explores the Greco-Roman and JudeoChristian roots ofCamus's thoughtwhile listeningforcontemporary resonances. The mixture of the pagan Mediterranean experience...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 402-404
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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