L'Étranger and the Messianic Myth, or Meursault Unmasked

PhaenEx 2 (1):1-18 (2007)
This paper attacks received ideas about Camus’s iconic hero as honest, modest, innocent, and even messianic. Reviewing these notions, first, as collated in Édouard Morot-Sir’s critical conspectus, ‘Actualité de L’Étranger’ (1996), I trace them back to Sartre’s seminal critique (1943), then to Camus’s characterisation of Meursault as ‘the only Christ we deserve’, in 1955. By close reading of the text, I show that, far from being the modern messiah of authenticity, Meursault is in fact a monster of male chauvinism and an unreconstructed misogynist, whose much-vaunted indifference and amorality only thinly disguise a psychopathology of autism, egotism, paranoia and sadism
Keywords existentialism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,596
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Camus's Meursault and Sartrian Irresponsibility.David Sherman - 1995 - Philosophy and Literature 19 (1):60-77.
No Excuses.Robert C. Solomon - 1999 - Teaching Co..
Beyond Education: Meursault and Being Ordinary.Andrew Gibbons - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 45 (11):1104-1115.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
25 ( #258,467 of 2,303,808 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
20 ( #23,615 of 2,303,808 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature