The Fall (La Chute, 1956)
I first read The Fall in college and thought it one of the best explorations of a single
character I have ever or will ever read. Unfortunately, my paper on the work was less well
received. In fact, it was given a mark of "C" with the advice that I pay closer attention
to the story. To this day I consider The Fall an incredible character study in search of a
story. Why does one need a perfect story, anyway? It remains my bias... the professor did
not appreciate what Camus accomplished and overstated what Camus did not. (The preceding
opinions are my own.)
The Fall was Albert Camus' last completed novel. On the surface, it is a simple narrative
as Jean-Baptiste Clamence recounts the events from the last few years of his life. On a
much deeper level, The Fall is Camus' written confession. The work is filled with Camus'
self-loathing and criticisms of various people, beliefs, he encountered. More than any
previous work, The Fall reveals Albert Camus.