Camus’ “Stranger” Now An “Outsider”

There’s a new translation of Albert Camus‘s novel “L’Etranger.” Unlike previous renderings, it is not called “The Stranger.” It is called “The Outsider.” Sandra Smith, an American scholar and translator at Cambridge University, explains the choice, cited in this review by Claire Messud: ‘In French, étranger can be translated as “outsider,” “stranger” or “foreigner.” Our protagonist, Meursault, is all three, and the concept of an outsider encapsulates all these possible meanings: Meursault is a stranger to himself, an outsider to society and a foreigner because he is a Frenchman in Algeria.’

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