Yeah, so call me absurd…
Anyway, as happens with my other such favorite influential authors — Kafka, Vonnegut, Melville, Hemingway, London, Conrad… (I know, I know. This list is very male and very white… I’m working on that. I promise.) — I, like clockwork, begin jonesin’ for a Camus fix at least once a year.
Right now I’m in the midst of satisfying my most recent Camus craving by plowing through several of my perennial favorites of his — The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall.
However, yesterday I began reading for the first time a short story collection of his called Exile and the Kingdom, and I’m saddened and a bit embarrassed to report to you that, after three stories in, I really don’t have a clue what’s going on in any of them. They, after the first read, just don’t make any sense to me. Hopefully they will after subsequent reads.
But I gotta tell ya…
I’m not a philosopher despite the fact that it is my belief that everyone with a thinking brain, and especially those without, is one, whether it be as a witting one or not.
No, I’m not a Philosopher, despite my occasional philosophizing about philosophical stuff, in the same regard that I’m not a Poet, despite the fact that I occasionally write poetic-like stuff.
Philosophy as a studied discipline is way too confounding for my confounded brain.
However, practicing a philosophy as a means for navigating life comes as natural to me as the act of breathing or as the desire to include unnecessary descriptive and expounding words, especially those oh so delightful words of the adverbial persuasion, into as much of my writing as possible.
For instance, I have no idea how many times other than a lot that I’ve attempted to read and understand such profound Philosophers as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and Heidegger and Sartre and Camus and, regardless how many times it’s been, without fail and after only a few pages I have to put their books down in angry frustration and embarrassment from my inability to read the words that they have carefully and thoughtfully written for me with any sustained comprehension. It is maddening to me that, while I can read and understand just about any individual sentence of theirs, when moving on to a succeeding sentence, of which I can also read and understand, I invariably lose comprehension of the sentence which had just preceded it and which only seconds before I had understood.
If hell is other people, then a deeper hell is other people other than the people I can understand…
cannot be denied by me
yet still I believe