Albert Camus and the ventriloquists

Margaret Jean Langstaff:

This blog and conversation are amazing and have given me a glimpse of a glimmer of hope that Literature might survive the onslaught of online thieves and snippers/quippers. One and all, the voices are authentic, intelligent and discerning. So rare online. What a find.

Originally posted on :


“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Those lines are perhaps the most-quoted of Albert Camus’ online. They’ve most likely reached more people than his books have. The problem, aside from the diabolical triteness of the sentiment, is that Camus doesn’t seem to have written these words. They appear in none of his major works nor in any interview that I can find. To anyone who has read Camus’ work, this comes as little surprise. It just doesn’t seem his style to write something so simpering, a message with all the profundity of an episode of The Littlest Hobo, a kind of self-help post-Oprah drivel, the proliferation of which has made Facebook a place which the sound of mind should avoid as they would a leper colony.

Camus did have…

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About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers, admittedly a small group, but my kind of people, who are interested in literary things. A serious collector of modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger.
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One Response to Albert Camus and the ventriloquists

  1. Pingback: “Outsider” by Albert Camus | Random Musings

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