Man in a Vacuum

THE STRANGER (154 pp.)—Albert Camus—Translated by Stuart Gilber—Knopf ($2).

The latest highbrow buzz-fuzz is something called "existentialism" (TIME, Jan. 28). This short novel by 32-year-old French philosopher-journalist Albert Camus may help to clear the fog.

Camus, who is now on a U.S. lecture tour, has denied that he is an existentialist. He is nevertheless closely identified with this French literary cult, and The Stranger is right in its groove: "existential" pessimism underlines every cold, gross, irrational detail of the story.

Camus' point seems to be that the world makes no sense, that life as it has to be lived by human...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!