Someone Else’s Mind – L’Homme révolté

I have been reading the above book by Camus over the last few months. It is heavy going for someone with only O level French. I figured that reading it would give more of an insight into the French psyche.

What strikes me most is that his frame of reference and mine are so very different. It seems that France pivoted around the revolution, and he often refers to it as a landmark in French thinking as well as in history. The whole mind-set in underpinned by Catholicism. It pervades.

They still have a bit of a thing about the king.

These things are not so big in the British psyche.

When I discussed the difference between British and French outlooks with our teacher, she pointed at this fundamental difference in “Christian” outlook. She was surprised that there are quite a lot of Catholics in the UK. I told her than many of my high-school tutees were Catholic and went to Catholic schools many of which are excellent where we once lived.

In general, the UK {England and Wales in particular} is pretty religiously tolerant. It does not see the divides as starkly. This is my supposition.

The world has changed markedly since the book was written. He describes the nature of social conditioning and society very well. Much of that has now passed.

We are on very different wavelengths, partly due to my general lack of attachment and belief that much of what society is about is little more than maya and illusion. The notion of social things is largely made up in the minds of men and it is this notion which he writes upon to some extent.

I can appreciate his intellect but the things to which he refers have little meaning to me, they are constructs and not my reality.

I some cases I am more of a rebel than that which he describes, for in effect I have renounced much of the social rank and power.

I am giving it a good go, but for whatever reason it just is not clicking with me. It isn’t speaking to me at a deep level, it is just there at intellect and no further.

It is quite strange seeing someone else’s mind so eruditely exposed and thinking I am not like that and do not think like that.

I’ll give it a bit more of a go…