Clamence

Clamence

haunted by guilt because he failed to respond when aware that a girl had jumped or fallen into the Seine. [Fr. Lit.: Camus The Fall]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In a sentence from his "Priere d'inserer" to which I shall return, Camus warns that Clamence holds up a mirror to his listener and his readers: "Le miroir dans lequel il se regarde, il finit par le tendre aux autres" (771).
Valery's Hamlet, questioning the very ground on which European intellectual identity stands and the precariousness of its continuing existence (La Crise de l'Esprit, 1919); Camus's Clamence, denouncing yet simultaneously affirming the guilt-ridden hypocrisy of European bourgeois consciousness (La Chute, 1956); Tournier's Ogre, poised on the Franco-German frontier as he sifts the debris of Nazi totalitarianism for any redeeming shards of meaning (Le Roi des Aulnes, 1970); and Irigaray's Antigone, appealing ironically for rebirth from beneath centuries of phallogocentric rubble (Ce Sexe qui n'en est pas un, 1977).
Camus's struggle with the problems of the human conscience persists right up to his last novel, a controversial work called The Fall, in which he tugs at the very core of Jean-Baptiste Clamence, his central character.
In Camus's text "Jean-Baptiste Clamence," the protagonist-speaker, refers to himself almost constantly.
Il savait que, muselee, la liberte de la parole est a surveiller, de peur qu'elle ne s'emballe, de crainte qu'elle ne caracole ou ne se carapate comme dans le monologue interne du "Renegat" ou dans le soliloque declame de Clamence dans La Chute.
Like Clamence, the judge-penitent of Camus' The Fall, Harun can be an irritating monologuist, weaving digression and rhetorical flourishes in and around his obsession." JIM HIGGINS
Des juges-penitents." (5) Lexpression de "juge-penitent," reprise dans les premieres pages du roman (La Chute, 699), devoile le lien indefectible entre cette querelle et le recit fictif de Clamence. Mais une question demeure: faut-il voir dans Clamence, se definissant lui-meme comme un "juge-penitent," un simple double litteraire des accusateurs des Temps Modernes?