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L’Étranger The Outsider (UK), or The Stranger (US)) is a French novel by Albert Camus published in 1942. Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of Camus's philosophy of the absurd and existentialism, though Camus personally rejected the latter label. The title character is Meursault, an indifferent French Algerian "a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa". He attends his mother's funeral. A few days later he kills an Arab man in French Algiers, who was involved in a conflict with a friend. Meursault is tried and sentenced to death. The story is divided into two parts, presenting Meursault's first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively. In January 1955, Camus wrote: "I summarized The Stranger a long time ago, with a remark I admit was highly paradoxical: 'In our society any man who does not weep at his mother's funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death. I only meant that the hero of my book is condemned because he does not play the game." The Stranger's first edition consisted of 4,400 copies and was not an immediate best-seller. But the novel was well received, partly because of Jean-Paul Sartre's article "Explication de L'Etranger," Translated four times into English, and also into numerous other languages, the novel has long been considered a classic of 20th-century literature. Le Monde ranks it as among its 100 Books of the Century.
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