Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 162
• The Stranger, Camus’s first novel from 1942. Mersault, the protagonist, is on trial for the senseless shooting of an Arab. He is condemned as much for his social alienation and indifference as for his crime. Provides an introduction to Camus’s themes of absurdism and alienation.
• The Plague, Camus’s second novel, published in 1947. It tells the story of several men confronting a plague in the Algerian city of Oran. Introduces the theme of revolt.
• Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist novel Nausea, published in 1938, treats a number of Sartre’s philosophical themes, including meaninglessness and the responsibility of each individual to achieve an authentic existence.
• ‘‘Zaabalawi’’ is a well known story by the Nobel Prize winning Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz. Published in 1963, the story tells of a quest to find a holy man who will provide a physical cure and spiritual salvation for the ailing narrator. Mahfouz uses some Absurdist techniques and focuses on individual experience in a social rather than alienated context.