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Incompetent Texts in Camus Sartre and CelineThe Stranger by Albert Camus Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre and Death on the Installment Plan by Louis-Ferdinand Celine all contrast themselves with internal texts that fail to represent the world competently The Stranger includes the prosecutors narrative of the murders as an incompetent text by refusing to support the motives he assigns It contrasts itself with the prosecutors narrative in view of the excessive language of the prosecutor versus the simple reporting of Meursault The Stranger similarly positions comments by Marie and Raymond as incompetent by contrasting their pity with the texts own view that no event is truly pitiable Nausea positions a text by Balzac as incompetent because it assigns cause to events by using psychology and past time The novel includes paintings of a wayward bachelor and bourgeois grandfather as incompetent texts Nausea also positions the Self-Taught Mans description of adventure as incompetent by arguing that adventure is a social construct Death on the Installment Plan marks an effusive letter to Courtial as incompetent in contrast with Ferdinands stance of reporting It also positions Courtials pamphlets promoting an outdoor education as incompetent by showing that they misrepresent Courtials intentions and ability Death also uses Augustes letter to Ferdinand as an attempt to bend Ferdinand to the values of the bourgeoisie which he questions Each of the three texts increase its own verisimilitude through its implicit comparison with inadequate internal texts The Stranger contrasts its narrative of the murder of the Arab with the prosecutors narrative in terms of the faulty motives that the prosecutor ascribes to Meursault The prosecutor provides a cause for each of Meursaults actions Meursault summarizes the prosecutors case I had asked Raymond to give me his gun I had gone back alone intending to use it I had shot the Arab as I planned And to make sure I had done the job right I fired four more shots 99
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