Charade Magazine ( by Mustafa Bin-Karaze) – President Bush, just finishing up a small vacation in Crawford Texas, did what many Americans do on vacation, he took the time to read a book. He dedicated a brief portion of his vacation ito reading a work by one of France’s most celebrated authors, Albert Camus, “The Stranger”. The President stated that the book made a real impression upon him, and Charade Magazine in an exclusivity interview was able to allow the president a venue to share some of his thoughts on this literary masterpiece:
Charade: Thank you Mr. President, for allowing us a little time out of your busy schedule for this interview.
Bush: You’re welcome. As you probably know I was over in Europe last month sort of hobnobbing with the leaders there, doing a lot of hard work with treaties and negotiations and decisions and such. I’m proud to say that we’ve come a long way in restoring a lot of relationships, especially with the French. It was suggested that I might want to read this book to understand their culture. I must say, I think they make a little more sense to me now.
Charade: So tell us, Mr. President, what was the story of “The Stranger” about, and what impressed you so much?
Bush: Well the story is about this fellow… and I always have trouble with names… it started with an M… French sounding… and he smoked a lot… we’ll call him Marlboro. This guy Marlboro finds out one day that his Mee-Maw died, that’s how the book starts, it says, “Mee-Maw died today”. You can tell that he’s pretty broken up about it because he doesn’t show it, but nobody else seems to get it.
Charade: Is this the part of “The Stranger” that you found so compelling?
Bush: Well, maybe… my mom hasn’t died yet… I don’t think… I haven’t spoken to her in a little while… but this guy Marlboro was pretty interesting. He worked hard, and really had an eye for the women. He liked to smoke and drink, and he took a lot of naps, too.
Charade: So you really have a lot of things in common with the main character?
Bush: Maybe… but not so much anymore. I think what I liked the most was the author’s stress on the importance of morals and Christian beliefs. This guy Marlboro was kind of a tragi-comic figure… like Karl said, I seem to remember that term from English class. You really admire him for standing behind his beliefs and not wagering in adversity. But, in the end it’s pretty sad when you come to realize that this keeps him from accepting Jesus as his savior.
Charade: Are there any lessons from the novel that you plan to incorporate in your own life and in your position as president?
Bush: The book really does inspire you to be able to stick by your guns when you’re surrounded by a lot of gloom-doomers and naysayers. I also liked the fact that someone could be prosecuted for not thinking and believing in an acceptable way… France has obviously changed a lot since the time of Shamu. I think literature is always open to interpretation, just like diplomacy… as we are faced with the possibility of impending peace in the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, it is important for us to not give up all hope.
Charade: Thank you, Mr. President, for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
Bush: Always a pleasure… but I feel like they’re decisions more than anything else.