Title: The State of Siege

Author: Jose Donoso

Translator: Abdullah Kawsari

Publisher: Ney

Subject: Allegorical stories / Chilean stories

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 472 p

Language: Farsi



Curfew is a play that has concerns almost in common with The Plague. It is as if this play is a shadow of the same plague book in a different way or in a different format. However, Albert Camus himself has said: I must make it clear to the readers that this book has not been reproduced in any way from my own novel called The Plague.

First, we read the book, a short writing by the author about the formation of this play:

In 1941, Barrow decided to stage a play on the imaginary subject of the plague, about which Antonin Arnault had previously acted. But in the years after 1941, Barrow realized that he could use Daniel Duffo’s great book, The Plague of the Year newspaper, to reproduce the subject matter of the play.

Therefore, he used it to prepare an excerpt from Meissen. When he found out that I, in turn, was publishing a novel on the subject, he asked me to write the dialogues for a play he had sincerely prepared. But I had a different opinion, and I believed that it would be preferable to forget Daniel Duffo in general, and to pay attention to Barrow’s original thought.

Barrow’s initial idea was to put on a play about the plague that would be comprehensible to all viewers in 1948. “Military rule”, which is an incredible work of mine, is born of such an idea.
Although the whole text of this play was written by me. But I must honestly say that it was right that Barrow’s name was also associated with my name in this article. But for the reasons that must be observed, his name was not mentioned next to my name. Instead, I explicitly admit that in this case I will remain indebted to Jean-Louis Barrow.

The CurfewBook
The fascinating difference between this play and the novel Plague is that in this book, the plague takes the form of a character and enters the story. We first encounter someone who has good stability. But suddenly a huge change replaces this stability. And that is nothing but the arrival of a kind of calamity.

A person named Plague enters the city with his secretary. Her secretary is a woman who has a list of the names of all the people in the city. With the slightest hint of a plague, the woman finds the name of each person on the list and draws a black line on it. And that person dies instantly from the unit.

The plague somehow sounds the death knell for the people. An undeniable fact from which there is no escape. The plague takes the whole city and power into its own hands and under its domination. A completely military and dry government. A government devoid of emotion that from the very beginning, by separating men and women, forbids having any kind of human emotion. Because he believes that the only truth is nothing but death


Naturally, in this situation, everyone follows their own procedure. The general public bows out in fear of the domination of this power and takes refuge in closed houses, and everyone is somehow worried about himself. We clearly see the weakness, weakness and humiliation of man in the face of bitter and undeniable realities. And of course the Alcadas, who are not unlike the priest’s character in The Plague.
They consider the sins of man as the cause of all these calamities and calamities. And instead of finding a solution to the problem, they are constantly looking for people to repent in order to reduce the burden of these calamities.

In addition to the plague and its secretaries who kill people in turn and believe that there must be justice and order in this death and everyone dies in the same way, the more painful issue occurs when we see that people also die. The moment when a man takes the name book from the plague secretary and writes the name of one of his fellow human beings can be considered the bitterest part of the story.

We are gradually seeing people kill each other in this way. And in those moments the plague is happier than ever. Because he sees that without his efforts, his people will be enough to destroy him. And this seems to be the tragedy of all human history.

In this situation, three symbolic characters, unlike other passive people, play a significant role in giving direction to this situation:

Nada – a symbol of denial

Diego – a symbol of rebellion and morality

Victoria – a symbol of human love and happiness

Nada, whose name means “nothing”, is a person who is constantly drunk, denies and paralyzed, who believes that life is the same as death, and in this way, man burns like a firewood to the end and ends. According to Nada, people have adopted a simple and erroneous lifestyle stereotyped on the basis of religion, and this is why they do not realize the greater troubles and sufferings around them that await everyone.

Nada’s only companion is alcohol. He believes in nothing but alcohol and is constantly looking for wine again. Wine can be considered as an element for forgetting or the distance and denial of reality for Nada. He denies everything.
His rebellion comes from a kind of denial and is destructive. As Camus says, when one denies everything, one will eventually be forced to deny oneself, that is, man. Because nothing is exempt from this rule of denial. And this denial of man causes crime. So Nada, along with the plague and with him, succumbs to the death of man and humanity.


In the following section, we read a part of Nada’s speech addressed to the people:

“You think that the moment you have eaten three meals a day and finished your eight-hour work and been able to get to your wife. Everything is in order and circulates in its logical and correct order.

But no, what is the end of you who do not understand the logical order? You are in a line that is religious and does not understand logic. “Now you are very regular and tidy with a calm and settled face, ready and deserving of a calamity.” (Book of Military Government – Page 20)

About the book Curfew

Diego is a character opposite Nada. Diego can be considered very similar to Dr. Rio in the book The Plague. He engages in rebellion that stems from a kind of acceptance and confrontation. And this can be a constructive rebellion. He considers morality to be valuable and the point of victory of man, while Nada acts against morality.


Diego has a social and general view of the plague. He cares not only for himself, but for the whole people. So he is the only one who overcomes his fear and stands against the plague.

It speaks of the characteristics of the essence that have given it power. From the rebellion and madness that is rooted in the rebellious spirit of every human being, but not everyone has the courage to express it. Human traits that even death can not deny or eliminate.

He slaps the plague secretary hard in the ear and at this moment the system is disturbed. Diego understands and informs people that overcoming fear is the only key to facing the plague and death. I mean, maybe he never stopped or denied the undeniable reality of death or cruelty. But it can not be given double power. As long as people are not afraid of death, writing their names is not only meaningless but useless. In a way, by eliminating the fear of death factor, death is nothing more than an illusion. And this can be the greatest humiliation of a forced bitter reality.


Diego stands up on behalf of all the people and stands up to the plague. By tearing the mouths of despair from the mouths of the people, he gives them the impetus to revolt so that they can shout with open mouths and raised necks: Freedom. Diego proves once again Camus’s statement: “I’m rebelling, so we’re ‘!”

His individual rebellion is a proof of the power of rebellion hidden in all mankind.

Here are some of Diego’s speeches to the plague:

You have been destroyed. I assure you of this. You have failed in the midst of your apparent victories, because in human beings, look at me, there is a force that you can not reduce. A clear madness mixed with fear and courage but ignorant and at the same time powerful over everything and everyone. A force that will soon rise and you will realize that your victory and honors have been nothing more than smoke. (Book of Military Government – Page 121)

Plague and Diego face each other. One represents death, and the other represents human morality and rebellion. Which one is more powerful?

Man has qualities that we see can empower him. A power that can not be denied by anything. As Diego’s mistress Victoria, as a representative of human love and happiness, reminds her that everything can be overcome with love. Because love does not care about anything. And the key to victory is always not to be afraid. For Diego, what is valuable is not life, but the reason for life. So he shows the ultimate human power by sacrificing and perishing in the way of love. And that power is nothing but “morality.”

It is as if we still have someone like the plague novel who does not prefer individual happiness to collective misery! He is definitely not the winner. Death is not denied. But it shows a much higher value to death. Death is not the winner either. Because he can take everything with him except honor and pride.

Here we will recall the plague novel, which states in part that “only honor can overcome the plague.” Diego breaks down as a human being, but does not allow humanity to fail.

Sentences from the text of the book of The State of Siege
Officers die in their beds and the sword strikes us!

There will be so many dead on the ground that there will not be a single living person to bury them.

I think I’m scared. And this is a disgrace to me.

There is only one truth, which is death.


The less they understand, the more they will give up.

Destroy. Eliminate and destroy everything! This is my philosophy. God has returned from the world and denies it, and I have returned from God, I deny him! Long live no. Because this is the only thing that exists!

Rest assured that we are all getting to the point in history where everyone is talking but never getting an answer. And when two people face each other and talk, their words are incomprehensible to themselves, and they smoke and go up into the air, and finally this state will reach its final evolution, this is the last evolution of the silence of death.

There is no postal activity in the low city of your nature.

If you die, I will be jealous of the soil that embraces your body.

How painful it is for man to die knowing that he will be forgotten.

My life has no value in itself and is nothing, what counts and matters is the causes and subject matter of my life. I’m not a dog and I do not want to live like a dog.

We triumph over all but honor and pride.

This world needs a woman to learn to live. We have never deserved anything. Except to die.

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