Nov 02, 2008

meursault should have lied

I've been slowly making my way through Sam Taylor's The Amnesiac, which, in short, I'd describe as "difficult reading." But I loved this paragraph...

The next shelf contained works of serious literature belonging to James himself: novels and plays by Kafka, Melville, Camus, Beckett and Shakespeare that he had bought or been given when he was younger. It would be an exaggeration, however, to say that James had read all of these; certainly he had begun them all, but in each case he had become irritated and impatient with the protagonist's indecisiveness, lack of common sense, apparent insanity, or sourceless melancholy. As far as James was concerned, these so-called antiheroes deserved everything they got. Surely it was obvious that the land surveyor, K, should just have forgotten about trying to reach the castle and gone home? Similarly, Ahab should have given up on trying to catch the white whale and gone home; Meursault should have lied; Vladimir and Estragon should have left Godot a note and gone to the pub; and Hamlet should have just made up his mind.