A Month In Oran

For the past month I spent time in exile in the Algerian city of Oran, in the north of Africa, alongside the most interesting characters born in the mind of one of the gratest philosophers of our time.

Oran is a city affected by a devastating plague that kills quickly and horribly. The town is soon quarantined and its citizens forced to live in solitude and fear. The story is told from the point of view of a doctor who is treating the disease.

For me this gripping tale if the unrelieved horror, of survival and resilience, and the ways in wich humankind confronts death is by far on of the best books of french literature. Those with interest medicine and  political systems will enjoy the deeper meaning within the novel.

Albert Camus:  Nobel prize-winning French-Algerian author who is best known for his novel, The Stranger.

Some quotes from The Plague: 
  •  "When a man is a doctor, he comes to have his own ideas of physical suffering, and acquires somewhat more imagination than the average".  
  • "He was one of those rare people, who have the courage of their good feelings. His personal life is vouched for acts of kidness and a capacity of affection that no one on our times dares to own to". 
  • "Therefore they forced themselves never to think about the problematic day of escape, to cease looking to the future, and always to keep, so to speak, their eyes fixed on the ground at their feet". 
  • "Thus in a meddle course between these heights and dephts, the drifted trough life rather than lived, they were prey of aimless days and sterile memories, like wandering shadows that could have acquired substance only by consenting to root themselves in the solid earth of their distress. They came to know the incorregible sorrow of all prisoners and exiles, wich is to live in company with a memory that serves no purpose". 
  • "Yes, the hour has come for serius thought. You fondly imagined it was enough to visit God on Sundays, and thus you could make free of your weekdays. You belived some breif formalities, some bendings of the knee, would recompense Him well enough for your criminal indifference. But God is not  mocked. This brief encounters could not sate the fierce hunger of his love. He wished to see you longer and more often; that is His manner of loving and, indeed, it is the only manner of loving". 
  • "The great longing of an unquiet heart is to possess constantly and conciously the loved one, or, failing that, to be able to plunge the loved one, when a time of absence intervenes, into a dreamless sleep timed to last unbroken until the day they meet again". 
  • "The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding". 
  • "One's got to squeeze all one can out of life". 
  • "For nothing in the world is worth turning one's back on what one loves". 
  • "The love of God is a hard love. It demands total self-surrender, disdain of our human personality".

  I urge you to become infected of Camus's plague.

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