105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry

By Whit Burnett | Go to book overview

ALBERT CAMUS

One of the newest stars in the field of French literature is Albert
Camus, who left the choice of his material to the editor. The follow-
ing is the final chapter in his short novel
The Stranger. The novel
is the tragic chronicle of an enigmatic though average-placed young
man living in Algiers, with a job, his girl, his few bachelor friends
and one day his inexplicable killing of an Arab, an act which, as he
says, was "pure chance." Tried and sentenced to death largely on
the basis of his "callousness" a short time earlier at the death of his
mother in a home for the poor, the young man is found in the last
chapter awaiting the guillotine.


Sentence of Death

I HAVE JUST REFUSED, for the third time, to see the prison chaplain.

I have nothing to say to him, don't feel like talking--and shall be seeing him quite soon enough, anyway. The only thing that interests me now is the problem of circumventing the machine, learning if the inevitable admits a loophole.

They have moved me to another cell. In this one, lying on my back, I can see the sky, and there is nothing else to see. All my time is spent in watching the slowly changing colors of the sky, as day moves on to night. I put my hands behind my head, gaze up, and wait.

This problem of a loophole obsesses me; I am always wondering if there have been cases of condemned prisoners' escaping from the implacable machinery of justice at the last moment, breaking through the police cordon, vanishing in the nick of time before the guillotine falls. Often and often I blame myself for not having given more attention to accounts of public executions. One should always take an interest in such matters. There's never any knowing what one may come to. Like everyone else I'd read descriptions of execu

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105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • A Foreword in the Form of a Report xi
  • I The Americas 1
  • Eugene O'Neill 3
  • Ernest Hemingway 16
  • Sinclair Lewis 38
  • Robert Frost 52
  • John Steinbeck 61
  • Carl Sandburg 77
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay 98
  • Thornton Wilder 104
  • John Dewey 111
  • John Dos Passos 124
  • Pearl Buck 131
  • Van Wyck Brooks 141
  • H. L. Mencken 148
  • William Faulkner 155
  • Maxwell Anderson 173
  • Edgar Lee Masters 184
  • Archibald Macleish 188
  • Upton Sinclair 196
  • Robert Sherwood 204
  • John Gunther 221
  • William Rose Benét 225
  • Carl Van Doren 228
  • Erskine Caldwell 237
  • Robinson Jeffers 248
  • James Thurber 250
  • James Branch Cabell 268
  • John P. Marquand 279
  • Vincent Sheean 309
  • William L. Shirer 314
  • Mazo De La Roche 323
  • Mariano Azuela 339
  • Gabriela Mistral 349
  • Pablo Neruda 355
  • Eduardo Mallea 368
  • II The British Isles 391
  • T. S. Eliot 393
  • Aldous Huxley 400
  • W. Somerset Maugham 420
  • John Masefield 431
  • E. M. Forster 435
  • Bertrand Russell 447
  • Walter De La Mare 457
  • V. Sackville-West 466
  • Hilaire Belloc 472
  • W. H. Auden 479
  • Julian Huxley 490
  • Noel Coward 510
  • Siegfried Sassoon 529
  • J. B. Priestley 536
  • Winston Churchill 541
  • C. E. M. Joad 556
  • Graham Greene 566
  • Arnold J. Toynbee 577
  • A. J. Cronin 587
  • Lord Dunsany 592
  • Sean O'Casey 599
  • Padraic Colum 618
  • Elizabeth Bowen 623
  • Liam O'Flaherty 634
  • III Europe 643
  • André Gide 645
  • Jules Romains 655
  • André Maurois 670
  • André Malraux 677
  • Jacques Maritain 685
  • François Mauriac 696
  • Jean Cocteau 714
  • Paul Claudel 720
  • Jean-Paul Sartre 726
  • St. John Perse 731
  • Albert Camus 736
  • Colette 747
  • Louis Aragon 750
  • Thomas Mann 757
  • Erich Remarque 797
  • Albert Schweitzer 809
  • Albert Einstein 824
  • Hermann Hesse 830
  • Sigrid Undset 841
  • Knut Hamsun 852
  • Isak Dinesen 862
  • Johannes V. Jensen 876
  • Frans Eemil Sillanpää 889
  • Halldór Laxness 898
  • Benedetto Croce 912
  • Ignazio Silone 919
  • Geroge Santayana 936
  • José Ortega Y Gasset 945
  • Salvador De Madariaga 951
  • Pio Baroja 959
  • Pierre Van Paassen 965
  • Angelos Sikelianos 971
  • Arthur Koestler 977
  • Ferenc Molnár 993
  • Ivan Bunin 1008
  • Mikhail Sholokhov 1029
  • Ilya Ehrenburg 1044
  • IV Asia China • 1059 India • 1078 1057
  • Lin Yutang 1059
  • Hu Shih 1066
  • Jawaharlal Nehru 1078
  • Sri Aurobindo 1093
  • Biographies and Bibliographies 1109
  • Acknowledgments 1160
  • Index of Authors 1181
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