Albert Camus (1913-1960)

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”

“Live to the point of tears.”

“Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?”

“You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.”

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”

“There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.”

“An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. “Can they be brought together?” This is a practical question. We must get down to it. “I despise intelligence” really means: “I cannot bear my doubts.”

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

“At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman.”

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.”

“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”

“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”

“Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.”

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”

“I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist.”

“When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune.”

“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.”

“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth”

“I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.”

“Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.”

“I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”

“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”

“It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.”

“I used to advertise my loyalty and I don’t believe there is a single person I loved that I didn’t eventually betray.”

“You can’t create experience, you undergo it.”

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”

“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”

“What is a rebel? A man who says no.”

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”

“Always there comes an hour when one is weary of one’s work and devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart.”

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”

“Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — that is the whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live. ”

“I had only a little time left and I didn’t want to waste it on God.”

“Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.”

“Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.”

“A loveless world is a dead world.”

“Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.”

“Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.”

“Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble – yes, gamble – with a whole part of their life and their so called ‘vital interests.”

“There is not love of life without despair about life.”

“Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”

“There are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. The boundary between them is not clearly defined.”

“The evil that is in the world almost always comes from ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”

“I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn’t capable of great emotion, well, he leaves me cold.”

“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep”

“Nothing in life is worth, turning your back on, if you love it.”

“The need to be right – the sign of a vulgar mind.”

“If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.”

“Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable.”

“What is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying.”

“Integrity has no need of rules.”

“He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.”

“After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.”

“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”

“I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.”

“We must learn how to lend ourselves to dreaming when dreams lend themselves to us.”

“The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”

“Art and revolt will die only with the last man.”

“I know simply that the sky will last longer than I.”

“Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.”

“Don’t believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.”

“My chief occupation, despite appearances, has always been love.”

“I love life – that’s my real weakness. I love it so much that I am incapable of imagining what is not life.”

“I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.”

“It is always easy to be logical. It is almost impossible to be logical to the bitter end.”

“We have to live and let live in order to create what we are.”

“They knew now that if there is one thing one can always yearn for, and sometimes attain, it is human love.”

“I rebel; therefore I exist.”

“All men have a sweetness in their life. That is what helps them go on. It is towards that they turn when they feel too worn out.”

“But, you know, I feel more fellowship with the defeated than with saints. Heroism and sanctity don’t really appeal to me, I imagine. What interests me is being a man.”

“We are all born mad, some remain so”

“I hadn’t understood how days could be both long and short at the same time: long to live through, maybe, but so drawn out that they ended up flowing into one another. They lost their names. Only ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’ still had any meaning for me.”

“To feel absolutely right is the beginning of the end.”

“I had the whole sky in my eyes and it was blue and gold.”

“Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies”

“I continue to believe that this world has no ultimate meaning. But I know that something in it has a meaning and that is man, because he is the only creature to insist on having one”

“At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.”

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

“Today we are always as ready to judge as we are to fornicate.”

“Believe me, for certain men at least, not taking what one doesn’t desire is the hardest thing in the world.”

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”

“We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives… inside ourselves.”

“True generosity toward the future consists in giving everything to the present.”

“We are all exceptional cases. We all want to appeal against something! Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself.”

“Here lives a free man. Nobody serves him.”

“I don’t want to be a genius – I have enough problems just trying to be a man.”

“Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic.”

“Rule: Start by looking for what is valid in every man.”

“You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them.”

“Believe me, religions are on the wrong track the moment they moralize and fulminate commandments. God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves.”

“I’ve seen of enough of people who die for an idea. I don’t believe in heroism; I know it’s easy and I’ve learned it can be murderous. What interests me is living and dying for what one loves.”

“Am well. Thinking of you always. Love”

“Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love.”

“There is always a certain hour of the day and of the night when a man’s courage is at its lowest ebb, and it was that hour only that he feared.”

“I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.”

“Liberty is the right not to lie.”

“There is no frontier between being and appearing.”

“Empires and churches are born under the sun of death.”

“The act of love is a confession.”

“In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.”

“No ends, simply means.”

“An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.”

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”

“I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.”

“Do you believe in God, doctor?”

“A craving for freedom and independence is generated only in a man still living on hope.”

“Life is a sum of all your choices”.

“Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation; others in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished, by millions of solitary individuals whose and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history.”

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.”

“We’re going forward, but nothing changes.”

“The love of God is a hard love. It demands total self-surrender, disdain of our human personality. And yet it alone can reconcile us to suffering and the deaths of children, it alone can justify them, since we cannot understand them, and we can only make God’s will ours.”

“Our civilization survives in the complacency of cowardly or malignant minds — a sacrifice to the vanity of aging adolescents”

“I am too much in love with my lies and hypocrisies not to confess them fervently.”

“Thoughts of suicide have got me through many a bad night.”

“The first concern of any dictatorship is, consequently, to subjugate both labor and culture.”

“By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.”

“Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves.”

“Please stop trifling.”

“Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without ever having asked a clear question.”

“Absolute justice is achieved by the suppression of all contradictions; therefore it destroys freedom.”

“Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.”

“Our civilization survives in the complacency of cowardly or malignant minds — a sacrifice to the vanity of aging adolescents.”

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1 Comment

  1. mohammad rafiq rangooni

     /  October 4, 2015

    ‘the plague’ is possibly one of the finest books i have read

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