In today’s pages we begin to explore what feels like the next inevitability of the situation as Camus is unfolding it: the existence of a blackmarket, back-alley system for getting goods and services. Rambert, who is still wanting to get to his love in Paris, teams up with Cottard, who takes him to a café to see a man who can possibly arrange for his escape. To me this scene felt inevitable; if you set a ball rolling down a hill in a certain direction, you can be sure of certain outcomes. As we spoke about yesterday in our meeting, this is how Camus’ allegory seems to stay so closely aligned with our actual moment: because it is true that in any moment of large and systematic societal crisis, these themes (of good and evil, of communication, of love and death) inevitably arise, and they play out in both predictable and unpredictable ways.
FOR TOMORROW: Read next 7 pages (in section 9 in Part II), up to “‘Very useful,’ said the journalist, drinking in his turn.”