Narrative Medicine Book Club: April 5, 2020

In our first meeting today (thank you again to all who joined!!) we spoke about how Camus’ book, written as an allegory, reads so eerily today as a realistic playbook. Today’s pages were astounding again in this light: here the narrator speaks of “exile,” the citizens of the town cut off from each other and from their loved ones elsewhere, “prisoners” in their quarantine. “…That unreasonable desire to go backwards or, on the contrary, to speed up the march of time, those burning arrows of memory – all this really did amount to a feeling of exile.” He writes of the strange sense of time we are all dealing with — hope for the future, without knowing when the future will arrive, creates despair, but then the lack of  imagination for the future is a different kind of prison. “Impatient with the present, hostile to the past and deprived of a future, we really did then resemble those whom justice or human hatred has forced to live behind bars…But, though this was exile, in most cases it was exile at home.” 

FOR TOMORROW: Read next 7 pages, up to, in dialogue, “‘Perhaps you don’t realize what a separation such as this means for two people who are fond of one another.'” 

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