If I were to ask people to guess my favorite novel – the novel that has most influenced me, I think only a few people would get the right answer. The Lord of the Rings and Possessing the Secret of Joy come in high on the list, but they stand just short of The Plague.
The Plague was written by Albert Camus, who as my friend Alonzo Johnson points out was Algerian – his parents were French – but he was born in Algeria. The novel tells the story of a plague sweeping through the city of Oran. It explores the impact on people and how people respond.
Today my friend, Catherine Gordon, posted a link to a reflection on The Plague, “Camus on the Coronavirus“.
The author writes: “But there can never be safety — and that is why, for Camus, we need to love our fellow damned humans and work without hope or despair for the amelioration of suffering. Life is a hospice, never a hospital.”
Even as an “at risk, vulnerable” person on PAUSE (yes – that is New York’s name for it) may I love; may I work to ameliorate suffering.
This day. And all days.
I have tracked down my copy, at least the third I have owned, and will read it again starting this evening. Related posts may follow.