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Monday, November 5, 2012

Camus Crosses The Street, parts 817 - 820


817. "For shame Buboni,", said the Duck. "Do you mean to tell me that you think that just because Marie Antoinette dies on the guillotine this means that her life was pointless. That would be the attitude of a self-centered person who thinks that other lives are just a story with a plot, and if you know the end there is no point to watching the movie."


818. "That is not my attitude at all", said Buboni "I am drawing a distinction between two types of lives. Consider Michelangelo, he worked at his art his entire life, was always successful, beloved by everyone, and in old age died happy with what he had done. But then think of Marie, she wanted to be a great queen of France, beloved by the people, and instead she was hated and killed. So you could say her life was a failure and a waste." 


819. That reversal of purpose, when your life's work produces the exact opposite of all that you intended is what inspired the existentialists to write about life as being absurd and pointless.




820. Buboni could not convince the Duck with his existential argument, his idea that life might be looked at as a long sequence of meaningless events culminating in the crowning indignity of death? The idea was of no use to him, he rejected it utterly.



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