The Stranger

Everyone knows the first lines to this one: “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.” Meursault is the anti-hero of the book, who travels to his mother’s funeral but lacks the requisite tears a son should have for his mother’s dead body. A day after the funeral, he hooks up with Marie, who he has a fling with and who he insists he doesn’t love, “not that it matters.” He also writes a letter for Raymond to lure his girlfriend back so that he can insult her one last time. This letter spins off into the cops warning Raymond after he beats her up, her brothers getting upset with him and ends with Meursault shooting an Arab “accidentally”, then following up with 4 more shots to the dead body.
Then we know him as a prisoner, whiling away the days and seasons, waiting for his trial, making time pass by remembering his old life. The trial begins, and he is scrutinized by a packed house of interested parties, including a woman who sat at his table at Celeste’s dining establishment, whom he describes as a robot, ordering her meal then immediately calculating the cost and laying it on the table before the meal arrives, ticking off radio programs she wants to hear. I cannot figure out her significance, why does she appear at the trial?
A great re-read. Hat tip to PClan for the reminder about this one.

auth=Camus, Albert