Autodidact: self-taught

Sep
13
2010

The Stranger Part 2

by V. L. Craven

-9- I’ve often thought that had I been compelled to live in the trunk of a dead tree, with nothing to do but gaze up at the patch of sky just overhead, I’d have got used to it by degrees.

-10- I noticed that he laid stress on my “intelligence.” It puzzled me rather why what would count as a good point in an ordinary person should be used against an accused man as an overwhelming proof of his guilt.

-11- …I have never been able really to regret anything in all my life. I’ve always been far too much absorbed in the present moment, or the immediate future, to think back.

-12- “But,” I reminded myself, “it’s common knowledge that life isn’t worth living, anyhow.” And, on a wide view, I could see that it makes little difference whether one dies at the age of thirty or threescore and ten—since, in either case, other men and women will continue living, the world will go on as before.

-13- Once you’re up against it, the precise manner of your death has obviously small importance.

-14 Supposing she were dead, her memory would mean nothing; I couldn’t feel an interest in a dead girl. This seemed to me quite normal; just as I realized people would soon forget me once I was dead. I couldn’t even say that this was hard to stomach; really, there’s no idea to which one doesn’t get acclimatized in time.

-15-But, though I mightn’t be so sure about what interested me, I was absolutely sure about what didn’t interest me. And the question he had raised [about a belief in god] didn’t interest me at all.

-16- [The Priest] seemed so cocksure, you see. And yet none of his certainties was worth one strand of a woman’s hair.

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