Read Albert Camus’s “The Plague” Ahead of Swine Flu (H1N1) Season?

Documentary filmmaker, John Pilger, recommends Albert Camus’s The Plague as a good read ahead of our upcoming pandemic swine flu (H1N1) season:

A novel which tells the tale of the devastating plague visited on the Algerian town of Oran, it is also an allegory of France’s suffering under the Nazi occupation. The haunting final passage, in which Dr Rieux reflects on the town’s apparent recovery, is worth quoting at length:

“He (Dr Rieux) knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.”

 

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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