Albert Camus reflects on the nature of persecution in The Stranger:
“You won’t do your case any good by talking,” my lawyer had warned me. In fact, there seemed to be a conspiracy to exclude me from the proceedings; I wasn’t to have any say and my fate was to be decided out of hand.It was quite an effort at times for me to refrain from cutting them all short, and saying: “But, damn it all, who’s on trial in this court, I’d like to know? It’s a serious matter for a man, being accused of murder. And I’ve something really important to tell you.” However, on second thought, I found I had nothing to say. In any case, I must admit that hearing oneself talked about loses its interest very soon.
“Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.” So begins Albert Camus’ first-person account of a man who murders without reason in his existentialist work, The Stranger. The novel is peppered with absurd moments documenting a man, Meursault, doomed to die. “On my way out I was even going to shake the magistrate’s hand, but just in time, I remembered that I had killed a man.” (64)
Meursault describes “the odd impression of being watched by myself.” (87) And then, once convicted, on the inevitable end shared by all: “What really counted was the possibility of escape, a leap to freedom, out of the implacable ritual, a wild run for it would give whatever chance for hope there was.” (109) “Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. Throughout the whole absurd life I’d lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across the years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living.” (121)