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Staff Picks From Around the World: Nour from Beirut

Nou
By Nou

Growing up, books have always had an important part in my life as my parents would insist on my siblings and I to read. But it is only until I was 15 that I really picked up on reading, after I had discovered surrealism and absurdism. Here are 5 books from that movement that really marked me.

The Stranger

Camus' first novel is his most famous one, and rightfully so. Reading this book, not only was I understanding or justifying Meursault's crime; I felt like I would have done exactly the same thing. And now that I think about it, I realize that this feeling of strong empathy one has towards this completely indifferent protagonist is actually quite ironic. But well, what can we expect from the master of absurdism? 

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Sulphuric Acid

Netflix's Black Mirror meets The Hunger Games saga. Except this novel was written in 2005 i.e., way before the aforementioned phenomena. Belgian author Amélie Nothomb, renowned for her provocative stories and ideas, proved to be an avant-gardist.

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Rhinoceros, The Chairs, The Lesson

These three great plays by one of the founding fathers of the theatre of the absurd, are alive and kicking with tragedy and humour, bleakness and farce. In Rhinoceros we are shown the innate brutality of people as everyone, except for Berenger, turn into clumsy, unthinking rhinoceroses. The Chairs depicts the futile struggle of two old people to convey the meaning of life to the rest of humanity, while The Lesson is a chilling, but anarchically funny drama of verbal domination. In these three 'antiplays' dream, nonsense and fantasy combine to create an unsettling, bizarre view of society.

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The Giver

Imagine a world where colors, flavors, smells and tastes don't exist. You might think it's sad, but for Lois Lowry it is actually what the perfect world looks like. How would anyone complain about not having something if they don't even know it exists? In his world, only a few chosen people, the "givers", get to feel and it's not always for the best.

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Heartsnatcher

I always thought Boris Vian's best skill was music, until I read Heartsnatcher. This novel tells the story of a psychoanalyst who just moved to a new town where very weird things are taking place. In some ways, it feels as if David Lynch and Wes Anderson had written a book together.

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Nou
Nou
Community Manager // Series Binge Watcher // Guacamole Eater // Music Junkie // Into Stuff