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L'Étranger [The Stranger]
Paris: Gallimard, 1942. First edition. VERY RARE FIRST EDITION, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY CAMUS. Inscribed in ink on the front free endpaper: "à Nelly Albon avec la fidèle sympathie d'Albert Camus". "From its cold opening lines, 'Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure,' to its bleak concluding image of a public execution set to take place beneath the 'benign indifference of the universe,' Camus's first and most famous novel takes the form of a terse, flat, first-person narrative by its main character Meursault, a very ordinary young man of unremarkable habits and unemotional affect who, inexplicably and in an almost absent-minded way, kills an Arab and then is arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. The neutral style of the novel--typical of what the critic Roland Barthes called 'writing degree zero'--serves as a perfect vehicle for the descriptions and commentary of its anti-hero narrator, the ultimate 'outsider' and a person who seems to observe everything, including his own life, with almost pathological detachment" (David Simpson). Signed copies of the first edition of L'Étranger are very rare: L'Étranger was printed in Paris on May 19, 1942 and began appearing in bookstores in early June. Camus, however, was suffering from a recurring bout of tuberculosis in Oran and could not make it to France and therefore could not present copies of his new book to journalists or friends according to the French publishing tradition. Upon publication, twenty copies were sent to him, but they never arrived and it was not until June 17 that Camus finally received a (single) copy. Because of Camus's very limited access to first printing copies, signed or inscribed copies are particularly scarce. Note: With the fictitious "septieme edition" on the title page and rear wrapper. The 4400 copies of the first printing were issued on the same day. There were eight different title pages and rear wrappers, however, used as a marketing ploy, implying (falsely) that there were eight different editions. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1957 was awarded to Albert Camus "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times". Paris: Gallimard, 1942. Original wrappers; glassine; housed in custom half-morocco chemise and slipcase by P. Goy and C. Vilaine. A beautiful, fine copy. A RARE SIGNED FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE DEFINING NOVELS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.
      [Bookseller: The Manhattan Rare Book Company]
Last Found On: 2018-02-19           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    

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