Banks and existentialists

Progress still hard won. Can't seem to write anything either. Phoned the bank with the freakish request that I want to meet someone in a Brighton Branch to discuss starting a new business account, and reviewing my existing accounts. Six separate phone conversations with NatWest over many hours before I could get any sense out of them at all, and was instead sent a form to fill in for the new account, and told another team would contact me to discuss existing accounts. They never did.

During one conversation a Sainsbury's delivery arrived, which I took with phone to ear dancing about in the front door trying to prevent Brian from escape. When he escaped the Sainsbury's man and myself surged about in the front garden before we managed to recapture him. However the cats have been scratching so piteously at the catflap, that I relented this evening and they joyfully surged out to menace the local wildlife.

Walked to the throbbing heart of the perfectly pleasant Haywards Heath, where I bought The Outsider by Camus, a book I always thought I had read, but actually hadn't. I was reminded of it listening to BBC R4's A Good Read. More of a long short story really at 100 pages and I read a quarter of it over a cup of coffee in a cafe. All I want to do at the moment is crawl into a shell and read books. Kindle is great for travelling light on holidays - but to really engage with a book, rereading, taking time over difficult passages, dwelling on thoughtful ones, an old fashioned book wins over an Audiobook or Kindle every time.

The Outsider a fascinating read and the fiction of the French existentialists created some memorable characters. The central character of this book is living a life of what Sartre would call bad faith, unable to make any decisions about his life and as a consequence exists in a limbo state, being unable to connect emotionally to anything around him so that he can shoot someone dead without understanding why. The readers on A Good Read were somewhat dismissive of the book, but I think it is far more subtle than they gave it credit for.

Able to FaceTime again, so spoke to mum for a while. Cooked and waited for Lorraine to come home after another long day at work, and ended the day with Frasier.


A said…
I first read L'etranger, in French,in Paris. I was about sixteen , wearing black rollneck sweaters and smoking gauloises. I guess Sartre and De Beauvoir were chillin' in the Deux Magots, although I never met them. Hope your next move goes OK…
Peter Kenny said…
Cheers A. That was the proper way to read Camus.