At the end of Part III Camus explores the flattening of the plague, the way “exile and separation” leads the townspeople into “the very system of the plague,” which is “mediocre.” “No one among us experienced great feelings any more, but everyone had banal feelings.” His description of how everyone is reduced to the present tense is so resonant; I have been thinking about that myself these last days, faced with impossible decisions about a family member. How do we make decisions when we don’t know the future? “In other words, they no longer made choices…Everything was accepted as it came.” This statement too is a frightening one, a warning, a reality we must fight hard against, as we can: “The truth must be told: the plague had taken away from all of them the power of love or even of friendship, for love demands some future, and for us there was only the here and now.”
MEETING TOMORROW AT 2 EST! Visit https://narrativemedicine.blog/blog/narrative-medicine-book-club/ to register.
FOR MONDAY: First 7 pages of Part IV, through with the paragraph that begins “It often happened that Tarrou would go out…”