Chapter published in:The Expression of Tense, Aspect, Modality and Evidentiality in Albert Camus’s L'Étranger and Its Translations / L'Étranger de Camus et ses traductions : questions de temps, d'aspect, de modalité et d'évidentialité (TAME): An empirical study / Etude empirique
Edited by Eric Corre, Danh Thành Do-Hurinville and Huy Linh Dao
[Lingvisticæ Investigationes Supplementa 35] 2020
► pp. 268–281
Les modalités dans L’Étranger et l’expression de l’absurde
The central notion in L’Étranger is that of the Absurd. However, it is not meant as a simple representation of experiencing absurdity, because the novel would then have an unequivocal interpretation, in contradiction with the ambivalent experience that it is supposed to express. We show that the solution adopted by Camus is to use linguistic modalities in a specific way. What characterizes the narratives and the speech acts of Meursault is not the objectivity or the absence of feeling, but the absence of axiological modalities, while epistemic and appreciative modalities are present. The first-person narrative thus invites the reader to share the point of view of a character-narrator who formulates no value judgment of moral or ideological nature on the world which surrounds him.
Keywords: Absurdity, judgement of value, axiological modalities, appreciative modalities, epistemic modalities
Published online: 11 August 2020
Asher, N., Benamara F., & Mathieu Y.-Y.
Flaux, N., & Stosic, D.
Martin, J., & White, P.