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This article is taken from PN Review 169, Volume 32 Number 5, May - June 2006.

Paulin: A Biopsy Frederic Raphael

xx. 'attente' doesn't mean 'speculation' and 'souffrances' is not the same as 'privation'. If Camus wanted to say privation, he might have said 'privation'. Misprint of 'seraient' as 'serraient' suggests no great ear for French. Nor does 'pouvait' mean 'can', but 'could'. 'Rambert reprit cet air de réflexion buté etc' is translated 'The look of brooding obstinacy that Rambert so often had came back to his face', as if it were not an act of Rambert's but something that came over him. Does it matter? Only if you want to render accurately what Camus wrote. Then how about 'dear douce [sic] Rousseau', in The Road to Inver? Douce may be English, but the feminine adjective clangs in a 'tr.' of Apollinaire.

xxi. 'Deep in Camus's subconscious, in his political subconscious, he knew that "buter" also means in gangster's slang "to kill, to whack", and that "butin" means "booty".' But you scarcely need a political subconscious to know what butin means. The incantatory repetition of 'subconscious', without and then with an adjective, suggests a wish to persuade himself, and others, that an unverifiable assertion becomes more true by being repeated.

'The trap is that when Father Paneloux preaches on Exodus, the images of plague in the biblical book are symbols, I take it, of the various terrorist ...


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