Like a Stone: A happy death and the search for knowledge

Educational Philosophy and Theory 45 (11):1092-1103 (2013)
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Abstract

This article explores the story of ‘the other Mersault’ whose narrative is published in the posthumous and arguably incomplete work A happy death. That this work is incomplete and that it appears to be a precursor to The outsider, has arguably limited scholarly analysis of its character and plot. However, the themes that are explored in A happy death are significant in their distinction to those themes that are experienced by the other, younger, Meursault. In A happy death the world must be conquered by the will of a young man to find his happiness. He is not an outsider, and he is not content with his lot. Given an opportunity to address this latter concern, he acts upon his life in a search for happiness and in so doing engages in an ultimately frustrating, yet in some way enlightening, quest. In this article Mersault’s search for happiness is plotted in relation to his thinking about time, childhood, happiness and death. His journey is considered in relation to other stories of the search for some greater human condition. It is argued that his will to be happy reveals the absurdity of searching or not searching. This absurdity is considered in relation to the nature and purpose of school in the sense that such a relation to the search for knowledge might free school from its disciplinary tasks … and frees the learner, the child, the teacher, from the violence of having to want to know.

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Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Between past and future.Hannah Arendt - 1961 - New York,: Viking Press.
The birth of tragedy.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1872 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Oscar Levy & William A. Haussmann.
The Myth of Sisyphus.Albert Camus - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (1):104-107.
The Birth of Tragedy.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1992 [1886] - New York: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Oscar Levy & William A. Haussmann.

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