My favourite English book
March 7th, 2009
The vast majority of books foisted upon us for high school English were, in my opinion, pretty average, but the class just had to deal with whatever the teacher decided to give us to study. However, in year 12, there were a number of English streams to choose from, so students could choose which set of books they wanted to study along with two (in my opinion average) compulsory texts. I chose the stream that included studying Frontline and The Outsider by Albert Camus. As I’d never perviously heard of The Outsider, my choice was based on my fondness for Frontline, and because it meant I could watch TV. The Outsider was the last book I ever studied at high school. However, it has ended up being one of my favourite books even after a number of re-reads and dissection of language and storyline that comes with studying it.
Within my group of friends at the time, it seemed to be quite a divisive book. The only person I know that liked it, outside of my friends who studied it as well, is my partner.
As The Outsider was originally written in French, I often wonder if there’s nuances in the French language that get lost in the translation to English. I guess, more than anything, I wonder if my understanding of the text is as complete as it can be.