Friday, August 11, 2006

What The ... ?

Bush is spending his time on his ranch reading The Stranger by Albert Camus:

US President George W. Bush quoted French existential writer Albert Camus to European leaders a year and a half ago, and now he's read one of his most famous works: "The Stranger."

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Friday that Bush, here on his Texas ranch enjoying a 10-day vacation from Washington, had made quick work of the Algerian-born writer's 1946 novel -- in English.

The US president, often spoofed as an intellectual lightweight, quoted Camus in a February 21, 2005 speech in Brussels praising the US-Europe alliance and urging other nations to help Washington spread democracy in the world.

"We know there are many obstacles, and we know the road is long. Albert Camus said that 'freedom is a long-distance race.' We're in that race for the duration," Bush said in those remarks.

Well, Camus' The Stranger is not so much about freedom, as it is about what happens to the human being who can find no purpose, no moral compass by which to live.

Maybe Bush is preparing for a trip to meet European heads of state and he thought he had better brush up.