THE SILENT CITY by Albert Camus

“What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves.”
Albert Camus

Excerpt from: The Plague

“On moonlight nights the long, straight street and dirty white walls, nowhere darkened by the shadow of a tree, their peace untroubled by footsteps or a dog’s bark, glimmered in the pale recession. The silent city was no more than an assemblage of huge, inert cubes, between which only the mute effigies of great men, carapaced in bronze, with their blank stone or metal faces, conjured up a sorry semblance of what the man had been. In lifeless squares and avenues these tawdry idols lorded it under the lowering sky; stolid monsters that might have personified the rule of immobility imposed on us, or, anyhow, its final aspect, that of a defunct city in which plague, stone, and darkness had effectively silenced every voice.”

The Plague, is a novel published in 1947 by Albert Camus. At the time of publication the work was very well received, selling over 160.000 copies in the first two years. In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe, the novel, together with Manzoni’s ‘The Bethored’, has once again topped sales rankings in both Italy and France.

“But what does it mean, the plague? It’s life, that’s all.”

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