Shockingly, White House speechwriter fails to grasp existentialist nuance

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Emma Garman.

Ronald Aronson points out that:

A careful reading of The Fall reveals that President Bush’s quote from Albert Camus in Brussels was an astonishing mistake. Many of our European friends may now be laughing up their sleeves at the United States’ head of state.

To those who know Camus, a White House speechwriter may have created a spectacle, in which the president unwittingly parodied himself.

The quote, “freedom is a long-distance race,” was ripped from its context, one that establishes beyond doubt that Camus’ words were not meant straightforwardly.

[…]Camus’ character, while sounding resolute and tireless about pursuing freedom, making it seem daunting and thankless but the mark of a true human being, is really prattling on about freedom. He is intimidating people with it, using it for purposes of self-interest and does not at all believe in it. The grand-sounding phrase about freedom being a “long-distance race” is just another piece of flimflam.


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