Standing on a beach …

I'd been right, I was still right, I was always right.

President Bush, Tony Snow tells us, read Albert Camus' novel The Stranger during his vacation in Crawford, Texas.

Killinganarab_cov_1Steve Benen — crossposting at Crooks & Liars and The Carpetbagger Report — finds this hard to believe.

So do I. Even staunch Republicans have raised questions about Bush's intellect, but it's not just that. It's that it would be hard to imagine a novel that was more out-of-character for George W. Bush to be reading — and for his press secretary to be bragging about him reading. The Stranger (intellectual, atheist, French) seems more like something Tony Snow would accusing Ned Lamont of having read as evidence of his supposed Blue-state elitism.

So for kicks, I'm taking nominations in comments for George W. Bush's Implausible Anthology. I'll start with a few of nominations of my own: D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterly's Lover; Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here; James Joyce, Finnegans Wake.

On the other hand, The Stranger involves the senseless killing of an Arab followed by a public execution, and it begins with the sentence, "Mother died today." So maybe he liked it.

(CX: Finnegans — no apostrophe. Thanks PNH & Hagsrus.)

Update: George W. Bush reads Camus (as told to Julian Sanchez)

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  • Duane

    So if I said, “He’s not very tall, but he’s a giant in his field,” would you assume that “giant” refers to physical size because “tall” does?
    Actually, George Bush is above average height, so you’d be wrong from the jump. ;)

  • none

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t believe that people spend that much time contemplating the way in which a profound sense meaninglessness and futility can lead to random acts of violence.
    I don’t either. I do, however, think that nearly everyone I know has experienced that impulse (or something like it) at some point in their lives, and could be “educed” to articulate it and consider it further given the right introduction. Like a book!

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