I wanted to post my reply to Gimmer on my last but one post "News from the USA" because I reckon not many people look back at older posts to see later comments and this matter is so topical and worth more general airing.
My reply to gimmer:
One of thr most influential books I have ever read is The Plauge (La Peste), Albert Camus. unfortunately the English translation is poor but the good news is that it is easy to read in French for anybody with a reasonsble acquataince with the language and I strongly recommend it.
Below is an exchange I had with my brother RR on his blog a few days ago:
"...The fictional story is told through the eyes of the local doctor, Rieux; his commitment to his task is complete, but his attitude is dispassionate. As we would hope of people in charge; Trump showing how not to do it. There is nothing to be gained by getting excited and uttering overworked words like “menace”.
Rieux and the others do what they do because the need is obvious; discussion is unnecessary. The solutions are mainly traditional, tried and true; good results at first seem distant but it’s important to be patient. Without articulating that need.
Best of all, courage is inferred, never stated. People volunteer for difficult work and some die. But no one dwells on this, calling it a tragedy; it was to be expected."
"La Peste made perhaps the greatest lasting impression on me of any novel I have read and that has been with me now for many years. It is one of the few books I have read in the French language after reading it in English. That demonstrated how bad a translation can be. I seem to remember the scene where the child dies and Rieux (I think) questions the priest about there being a bountiful god being particularly badly handled. That is shameful especially as that is one of the fundamental issues Camus is putting up for consideration."
By slight coincidence with your refernce to Naziism many have suggested that La Peste is, apart from its main theme, also an analogy to the Nazi supression of France.