Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.
More and more, when faced with the world of men, the only reaction is one of individualism. Man alone is an end unto himself. Everything one tries to do for the common good ends in failure.
What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear... in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could rise in the heart of the simplest man.
Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.
For the absurd man, it is not a matter of explaining and solving, but of experiencing and describing. Everything begins with lucid indifference.
I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God.
For their heroism was that they had to conquer themselves first.
There is a terrible emptiness in me, an indifference that hurts.
Art and revolt will die only with the last man.
Nous sommes devenus lucides. Nous avons remplacé le dialogue par le communiqué.
Even when one sits in the prisoner's dock, it is interesting to hear talk about oneself.
Artistic creation is a demand for unity and a rejection of the world.
Am well. Thinking of you always. Love.
In order to exist, man must rebel.
Human rebellion ends in metaphysical revolution. It progresses from appearances to acts, from the dandy to the revolutionary.
Gilbert Jonas, painter, believed in his star.... His own faith was not, however, without its virtues because it consisted in admitting, in some obscure way, that he would obtain many things without deserving them.
Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism.
One dies if necessary, one breaks rather than bending. But I bend, because I continue to love myself.
This land on which so many centuries have left their mark is merely an obligatory retreat for you, whereas it has always been our dearest hope. Your too sudden passion is made up of spite and necessity.
As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.
Those who love, friends and lovers, know that love is not only a blinding flash, but also a long and painful struggle in the darkness for the realization of definitive recognition and reconciliation.
When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune.
And indeed it could be said that once the faintest stirring of hope became possible, the dominion of plague was ended.
The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.
Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.
You see, I've heard of a man whose friend had been imprisoned and who slept on the floor of his room every night in order not to enjoy a comfort of which his friend had been deprived.
It is always easy to be logical. It is almost impossible to be logical to the bitter end.
Thoughts of suicide have got me through many a bad night.
If man is reduced to being nothing but a character in history, he has no other choice but to subside into the sound and fury of acompletely irrational history or to endow history with the form of human reason.
In every guilty man, there is some innocence. This makes every absolute condemnation revolting.
Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.
Absolute justice is achieved by the suppression of all contradiction, therefore it destroys freedom.
The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone.
Revolution, in order to be creative, cannot do without either a moral or metaphysical rule to balance the insanity of history.
There are plagues, and there are victims, and it's the duty of good men not to join forces with the plagues.
We all carry within us places of exile, our crimes, our ravages. Our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to transform them in ourselves and others.
Instead of killing and dying in order to produce the being that we are not, we have to live and let live in order to create what we are.
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.
In every rebellion is to be found the metaphysical demand for unity, the impossibility of capturing it, and the construction of a substitute universe.
God put self-pity by the side of despair like the cure by the side of the disease.
There lay certitude; there, in the daily round.
All the rest hung on mere threads and trivial contingencies; you couldn't waste
your time on it. The thing was to do your job as it should be done.
Who, cher monsieur, will sleep on the floor for us? Whether I am capable of it myself? Look, I'd like to be and I shall be. Yes, we shall all be capable of it one day, and that will be salvation.
I have a good, hearty laugh and an energetic handshake, and those are trump cards.
To create today is to create dangerously. Any publication is an act, and that act exposes one to the passions of an age that forgives nothing.
Our civilization survives in the complacency of cowardly or malignant minds, a sacrifice to the vanity of aging adolescents.
For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
Freedom is not a gift received from the State or leader, but a possession to be won every day by the effort of each and the union of all.
In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually toward the horizon.
Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.
We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.
Because,' Cormery went on, 'when I was very young, very foolish, and very much alone ... you paid attention to me and, without seeming to, you opened for me the door to everything I love in the world.
Freedom of the press is perhaps the freedom that has suffered the most from the gradual degradation of the idea of liberty.
No code of ethics and no effort are justifiable a priori in the face of the cruel mathematics that command our condition.
You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer 'yes' without having asked any clear question.
I explained to him, however, that my nature was such that my physical needs often got in the way of my feelings.
I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.
Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children.
The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves.
If it were sufficient to love, things would be too easy. The more one loves the stronger the absurd grows.
At the age of 40, having ordered meat very rare in restaurants all his life, he realized he actually liked it medium and not at all rare.
For the existentials negation is their God.
Our fate stands before us and we provoke him. Less out of pride than out of awareness of our ineffectual condition. We, too, sometimes feel pity for ourselves. ... Yet the most daring among us are the ones who feel it.
If the only significant history of human thought were to be written, it would have to be the history of its successive regrets and its impotences.
Truth, like light, is blinding. Lies, on the other hand, are a beautiful dusk, which enhances the value of each object.
Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.
And never have I felt so deeply at one and the same time so detached from myself and so present in the world.
Purely historical thought is therefore nihilistic: it wholeheartedly accepts the evil of history and in this way is opposed to rebellion.
A crown of kisses to the queen of dreams.
To remain a man in today's world, one must have not only unfailing energy and unwavering intensity, one must also have a little luck.
Friendship is a knowledge acquired by free men. And there is no freedom without intelligence or without mutual understanding.
People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.
One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
There is scarcely any passion without struggle.
Likewise, every time somebody interjects to speak of my honesty there is someone who quivers inside me.
We turn our backs on nature; we are ashamed of beauty. Our wretched tragedies have a smell of the office clinging to them, and the blood that trickles from them is the color of printer's ink.
If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.
Life is a sum of all your choices.
A trial cannot be conducted by announcing the general culpability of a civilization. Only the actual deeds which, at least, stank in the nostrils of the entire world were brought to judgment.
We are rebels for a cause, poets with a dream, and we won't let this world die without a fight.
Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?" "Yes," I said.
The loss of love is the loss of all rights, even though one had them all.
He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.
What must be remembered in any case is that secret complicity that joins the logical and the everyday to the tragic.
Everthing is true and nothing is true!
So all a man could win in the conflict between plague and life was knowledge and memories.
Something must happen; that is the reason for most human relationships. Something must happen; even servitude in love, in war, ordeath.
Those who prefer their principles over their happiness, they refuse to be happy outside the conditions they seem to have attached to their happiness.
But memory is less disposed to compromise.
Thought is always out in front. It sees too far, farther than the body which lives in the present.
When the body is sad, the heart languishes.
I was born poor and without religion, under a happy sky, feeling harmony, not hostility, in nature. I began not by feeling torn, but in plenitude.
There is not one talent for living and another for creating. The same suffices for both. And one can be sure that the talent that could not produce but an artificial work could not sustain but a frivolous life.
There's no worse punishment than worthless, hopeless labor.
Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and this is its whole secret.
All existence for a man turned away from the eternal is but a vast mime under the mask of the absurd. Creation is the great mime…it is itself an absurd phenomenon.
Psychology is action, not thinking about oneself.
Mistaken ideas always end in bloodshed, but in every case it is someone else's blood. This is why our thinkers feel free to say just about anything.
A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.
On my way out I was even going to shake his hand, but I remembered just in time that I'd killed a man.
To me, art is not a solitary delight. It is a means of stirring the greatest number of men by providing them with a privileged image of our common joys and woes.
From Paul to Stalin, the popes who have chosen Caesar have prepared the way for Caesars who quickly learn to despise popes.
My dear friend, we mustn't give them even the slightest excuse to judge us! Otherwise, we end up in pieces.
Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.
Ale zawsze nadchodzi godzina w historii, kiedy ten, co ośmiela się powiedzieć, że dwa i dwa to cztery, jest karany śmiercią.
Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature.
When I look at my life and its secret colors, I feel like bursting into tears.
Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful.
It's a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.
A novel is never anything but a philosophy expressed in images. And in a good novel the philosophy has disappeared into the images.
Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.
Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.
A lot of jobs don't allow you to be who you are. There is dignity in work only when it is work freely accepted.
In Oran, as elsewhere, for want of time and thought, people have to love one another without knowing it.
Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.
You have to be very rich or very poor to live without a trade.
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
True artists scorn nothing.
To be happy we must not be too concerned with others.
There can be no true goodness, nor true love, without the utmost clear-sightedness.
He said: "We must have one love, one great love in our life, since it gives us an alibi for all the moments when we are filled with motiveless despair.
Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.
There always comes a time when one must choose between contemplation and action. This is called becoming a man.
I grew up with the sea, and poverty for me was sumptuous; then I lost the sea and found all luxuries gray and poverty unbearable.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Yes, there was an element of abstraction and unreality in misfortune. But when an abstraction starts to kill you, you have to get to work on it.
It is not rebellion itself which is noble but the demands it makes upon us.
That must be wonderful; I have no idea of what it means..
Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority.
God is not necessary to create culpability, or to punish. Our fellow men are enough for that, helped by ourselves.
But this time is ours, and we cannot live hating ourselves.
My soul's a burden to me, I've had enough of it. I'm eager to be in that country, where the sun kills every question. I don't belong here.
The misery and greatness of this world: it offers no truths, but only objects for love. Absurdity is king, but love saves us from it.
The tragedy is not that we are alone, but that we cannot be. At times I would give anything in the world to no longer be connected by anything to this universe of men.
Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un été invincible.
Life is the sum of your choices.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Great ideas come into the world as gently as doves.
The world is never quiet, even its silence eternally resounds with the same notes, in vibrations which escape our ears. As for those that we perceive, they carry sounds to us, occasionally a chord, never a melody.
Those who write clearly have readers.
They came to know the incorrigible sorrow of all prisoners and exiles, which is to live in company with a memory that serves no purpose.
Being is good, but getting rich is better.... If the gods had only the riches of men's adoration, they would be as poor as poor Caligula.
It would be unjust, and moreover Utopian, for Shakespeare to direct the shoemakers' union. But it would be equally disastrous forthe shoemakers' union to ignore Shakespeare.
There is the good and the bad, the great and the low, the just and the unjust. I swear to you that all that will never change.
Men and women consume one another rapidly in what is called "the act of love," or else settle down to a mild habit of conjugality. We seldom find a mean between these two extremes.
As I usually do when I want to get rid of someone whose conversation bores me, I pretended to agree.
A man wants to earn money in order to be happy, and his whole effort and the best of a life are devoted to the earning of that money. Happiness is forgotten; the means are taken for the end.
If pimps and thieves were invariably sentenced, all decent people would get to thinking they themselves were constantly innocent.
Believe me, the hardest thing for a man to give up is that which he really doesn't want, after all.
Some cry: 'Love me!' Others: 'Don't love me!' But a certain genus, the worst and most unhappy, cries: 'Don't love me and be faithful to me!'
Whoever today speaks of human existence in terms of power, efficiency, and historical tasks is an actual or potential assassin.
In order to exist, man must rebel, but rebellion must respect the limits that it discovers in itself -- limits where minds meet, and in meeting, begin to exist.
The entire history of mankind is, in any case, nothing but a prolonged fight to the death for the conquest of universal prestige and absolute power.
The end of their passion consists of loving uselessly at the moment when it is pointless.
If you keep on excusing, you eventually give your blessing to the slave camp, to cowardly force, to organized executioners, to the cynicism of great political monsters; you finally hand over your brothers.
More and more, revolution has found itself delivered into the hands of its bureaucrats and doctrinaires on the one hand, and to the enfeebled and bewildered masses on the other.
Part 2. At that moment we are feverish but also porous, so that the slightest touch makes us quiver to the depths of our being.
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
Nature is a burning and frigid, transparent and limited universe in which nothing is possible but everything is given.
Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come.
I always found misogyny vulgar and stupid, and I found almost all the women I have known to be my betters. However, placing them so high, I used them more often than I served them. How does one make sense of this?
A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves.
Every achievement is a servitude. It compels us to a higher achievement.
Does the end justify the means? That is possible. But what will justify the end? To that question, which historical thought leaves pending, rebellion replies: the means.
It was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear on the contrary that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning.
Madness such as this, its like trying to stop a fire with the moisture from a kiss.
In a world that has ceased to believe in sin, the artist is responsible for the preaching.
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.
She was waiting, but she didn't know for what. She was aware only of her solitude, and of the penetrating cold, and of a greater weight in the region of her heart.
We are rebels for a cause, poets with a dream , and we won't let this world die without a fight.
The most eloquent eulogy of capitalism was made by its greatest enemy. Marx is only anti-capitalist in so far as capitalism is out of date.
I have always felt I lived on the high seas, threatened, at the heart of a royal happiness.
Let's not worry. It's too late now. It will always be too late, fortunately!
I think my life is of great importance, but I also think it is meaningless.
No matter what cause one defends, it will suffer permanent disgrace if one resorts to blind attacks on crowds of innocent people.
Don't walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don't walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend.
Those who weep for the happy periods which they encounter in history acknowledge what they want; not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.
How did I picture the life after the grave?
I Fairly bawled out at him: 'A life in which I can remember this life on earth. That's all I want of it.
A single sentence will suffice for modern man. He fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.
When you have really exhausted an experience you always reverence and love it.
To live is in itself a value judgment. To breathe is to judge.
Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky.
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
You must have a love, a great love, to ensure an alibi at unjustified despairs that conquer all of us.
Gandhi proved it is possible to fight for one's people and win without for a moment losing the world's respect.
The nobility of our calling will always be rooted in two commitments difficult to observe: refusal to lie about what we know, and resistance to oppression.
Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.
Only the sea, murmurous behind the dingy checkerboard of houses, told of the unrest, the precariousness, of all things in this world.
The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.
One recognizes one's course by discovering the paths that stray from it.
Sometimes at night I would sleep open-eyed underneath a sky dripping with stars. I was alive then.
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.
We call first truths those we discover after all the others.
Absolute virtue is impossible and the republic of forgiveness leads, with implacable logic, to the republic of the guillotine.
In the long run one gets used to anything.
It is immoral not to tell.
Life is the sum of all your choices.
How can sincerity be a condition of friendship? A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.
The future is the only transcendental value for men without God.
Man is an idea, and a precious small idea once he turns his back on love.
Piuttosto morire in piedi che vivere in ginocchio.
The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning.
For ever, I shall be a stranger to myself.
I cling like a miser to the freedom that disappears as soon as there is an excess of things.
One might think, that a period which, within fifty years, uproots, enslaves or kills seventy million human beings, should only, and forthwith, be condemned. But also its guilt must be understood.
The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding.
The French Revolution gave birth to no artists but only to a great journalist, Desmoulins, and to an under-the-counter writer, Sade. The only poet of the times was the guillotine.
He seemed so certain about everything, didn't he? And yet none of his certainties was worth one hair of a woman's head. He wasn't even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man.
Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?
I know of only one duty, and that is to love.
Over there, in Europe, all was shame and anger. Here it was exile or solitude, among these languid and agitated madmen who danced in order to die.
The loves we share with a city are often secret loves.
You would not write about loneliness so much if you knew how to get the most out of it.
To abolish hope is to bring the thought back to the body. And the body is doomed to perish.
Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
No, Father, I've a very different idea of love. And until my dying day I shall refuse to love a scheme of things in which children are put to torture.
The important thing isn't the soundness or otherwise of the argument, but for it to make you think.
A city deprived of everything, devoid of light and devoid of heat, starved, and still not crushed.
The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
We don't have the time to completely be ourselves. We only have the room to be happy.
Fortunately there is gin, the sole glimmer in this darkness. Do you feel the golden, copper-coloured light it kindles in you? I like walking through the city of an evening in the warmth of gin.
The absurd does not liberate; it binds. It does not authorize all actions. "Everything is permitted" does not mean that nothing is forbidden.
It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.
It is a great deal to fight while despising war, to accept losing everything while still preferring happiness, to face destruction while cherishing the idea of a higher civilization.
What will be left of the power of example if it is proved that capital punishment has another power, and a very real one, which degrades men to the point of shame, madness, and murder?
The world is unimportant and whoever recognizes this conquers his liberty.
I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist.
The harshest winter finds an invincible summer in us.
The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.
An intense feeling carries with it its own universe, magnificent or wretched as the case may be.
Man stands face to face with the irrational. He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.
After all, I do not have so many ways of proving that I am free. We is always free at the expense of someone else. It is a bother,but it is normal.
We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men, we still want to serve them.
You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them.
If the world were clear, art would not exist.
I don't want to be a genius-I have enough problems just trying to be a man.
The only serious question in life is whether to kill yourself or not.
Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves me cold.
Tragedy forms a closed world, in which we stumble over and knock against obstacles. In the theater, tragedy must be born and die in the restricted area of the stage.
But,' I reminded myself, 'it's common knowledge that life isn't worth living, anyhow.
Yes, their reasons are overwhelming. They are as big as hope and as deep as revolt. They are the reasons of the future for a country that others tried so long to limit to the gloomy rumination of her past.
Our world does not need tepid souls. It needs burning hearts, men who know the proper place of moderation.
Happiness is not everything and men have their duties. Mine is to find my mother, a homeland.
Yes, and when the love of life disappears, no meaning can console us.
All I know of morality I learned from football.
Le monde est beau, et hors de lui, point de salut.
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them.
Mother used to say that however miserable one is, there's always something to be thankful for. And each morning, when the sky brightened and light began to flood my cell, I agreed with her.
People don't love each other at our age --they please each other, that's all. Later on when you're old and impotent, you can love somebody. At our age, you just think you do. That's all it is.
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.
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.
Once one's up against it, the precise manner of one's death has obviously small importance.
The opposite of an idealist is too often a man without love.
For me, physical love has always been bound to an irresistible feeling of innocence and joy. Thus, I cannot love in tears but in exaltation.
Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.
One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.
Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.
The opposite of an idealist is too often a man without love.
The act of love is a confession.
Crime too is a form of solitude, even if one thousand get together to commit it. And it is right for me to die alone, after having lived and killed alone.
Somebody inside of me has always tried, with all his strength, to be nobody.
Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
There are truths but no truth.
None of the evils which totalitarianism ... claims to remedy is worse than totalitarianism itself.
Everything is true, and nothing is true!
It is necessary to fall in love... if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway.
In truth, I was so good at being a man, with such plenitude and simplicity, that I thought I was something of a superman.
To govern means to pillage, as everyone knows.
It is in the thick of a calamity that one gets hardened to the truth, in other words to silence.
You always get exaggerated notions about things you don't know anything about.
Lying is not only saying what isn't true. It is also, in fact especially, saying more than is true and, in the case of the human heart, saying more than one feels. We all do it, every day, to make life simpler.
That's love, giving everything, sacrificing all without hope of return.
I have come to love in this world what it has mutilated and torn.
In medical science, as in daily life, it was unwise to jump to conclusions.
Intelligence in chains loses in lucidity what it gains in intensity.
Din clipa în care a fost cunosută,absurditatea devine o pasiune,cea mai sfîșietoare din toate.
A loveless world is a dead world.
In a sense, and as in melodrama, killing yourself amounts to confessing. It is confessing that life is too much for you or that you do not understand it.
A work of art is a confession.
There is no love of life without despair of life.
I love life -- that's my real weakness. I love it so much that I am incapable of imagining what is not life.
In raining bullets on those silent faces, already turned away from this world, you think you are disfiguring the face of our truth.
To abandon oneself to principles is really to die -- and to die for an impossible love which is the contrary of love.
Imagination offers people consolation for what they cannot be, and humor for what they actually are.
If there is a soul, it is a mistake to believe that it is given to us fully created. It is created here, throughout a whole life. And living is nothing else but that long and painful bringing forth.
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
To correct a natural indifference I was placed half-way between misery and the sun. Misery kept me from believing that all was well under the sun, and the sun taught me that history wasn't everything.
But now the artist is in the amphitheatre. Of necessity, his voice is not quite the same; it is not nearly so firm.
Women are all we know of paradise on this earth.
Rebellion, in man, is the refusal to be treated as an object and to be reduced to simple historical terms. It is the affirmation of a nature common to all men, which eludes the world of power.
They knew now that if there is one thing one can always yearn for, and sometimes attain, it is human love.
It is a well-known fact that we always recognize our homeland at the moment we are about to lose it.
I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored.
I feel more fellowship with the defeated than with saints.
We writers must know that we can never escape the common misery and that our only justification, if indeed there is a justification, is to speak up, insofar as we can, for those who cannot do so.
Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.
How had I not seen that there was nothing more important than an execution, and that when you come right down to it, it was the only thing a man could truly be interested in?
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.
Do you believe in God, doctor?" No -- but what does that really mean? I'm fumbling in the dark, struggling to make something out. But I've long ceased finding that original.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face, As it is, in its distressing nudity, in its light without effulgence, it is elusive.
It is not humiliating to be unhappy. Physical suffering is sometimes humiliating, but the suffering of being cannot be, it is life.
Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love.
Fancy language, like poplin, too often conceals an eczema.
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads.
And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don't want any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive.
You will always win if you make an effort, no matter how much. However, if you failed it means you were too lazy.
A true masterpiece does not tell everything.
The true work of art is always on the human scale. It is essentially the one that says, 'less.'
An achievement is a bondage. It obliges one to a higher achievement.
Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.
Germany collapsed as a result of having engaged in a struggle for empire with the concepts of provincial politics.
Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.
There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.
I was absent at the moment I took up the most space.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
In the world there is, parallel to the force of death and constraint, an enormous force of persuasion that is called culture.
Accept life, take it as it is? Stupid. The means of doing otherwise? Far from our having to take it, it is life that possesses us and on occasion shuts our mouths.
I'll tell you a big secret, mon cher. Don't wait for the last judgement. It takes place everyday.
Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.
What made me run away was doubtless not so much the fear of settling down, but of settling down permanently in something ugly.
At times I feel myself overtaken by an immense tenderness for these people around me who live in the same century.
I have not stopped loving that which is sacred in this world.
At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures -- be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.
I understood, by dint of digging into my memories, that modesty helped me to shine, humility helped me to triumph and virtue to oppress.
If pimps and thieves everywhere were always punished, honest people would all believe themselves always to be innocent.
What, in fact, is a novel but a universe in which action is endowed with form, where final words are pronounced, where people possess one another completely, and where life assumes the aspect of destiny?
I make myself strict rules in order to correct my nature. But it is my nature that I finally obey.
Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.
Children will still die unjustly even in a perfect society. Even by his greatest effort, man can only propose to diminish, arithmetically, the sufferings of the world.
Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?
If Christianity is pessimistic as to man, it is optimistic as to human destiny. Well, I can say that, pessimistic as to human destiny, I am optimistic as to man.
Conscious of not being able to separate myself from my time, I have decided to become part of it.
I'd buy myself a cabin on the beach, I'd put some glue in my navel, and I'd stick a flag in there. Then I'd wait to see which way the wind was blowing.
What I believe to be true I must therefore preserve. What seems to me so obvious, even against me, I must support.
I have never been able to renounce the light, the pleasure of being, and the freedom in which I grew up.
Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.
Tyrants know there is in the work of art an emancipatory force, which is mysterious only to those who do not revere it. Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and this is its whole secret.
Utopia is that which is in contradiction with reality.
There is only one class of men, the privileged class.
History only exists, in the final analysis, for God.
Forever I shall be a stranger to myself. In psychology as in logic, there are truths but no truth.
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.
Betrayal answers betrayal, the mask of love is answered by the disappearance of love.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else.
A symbol always transcends the one who makes use of it and makes him say in reality more than he is aware of expressing.
To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.
You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
Cruel irony, the poor man tormented with hunger feeds those who plead his case.
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
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.
Ce qu'on appelle une raison de vivre est en même temps une excellente raison de mourir.
To impoverish that reality whose inhumanity constitutes man's majesty is tantamount to impoverishing him himself.
The absurd depends as much on man as on the world. For the moment, it is all that links them together.
Whatever prevents you from doing your work has become your work.
After all, every murderer when he kills runs the risk of the most dreadful of deaths, whereas those who kill him risk nothing except promotion.
There's so much wickedness in the world," she said. "So what can you expect?
There is no shame in preferring happiness.
Note, besides, that it is no more immoral to directly rob citizens than to slip indirect taxes into the price of goods that they cannot do without.
Any country where I am not bored is a country that teaches me nothing.
After another moment's silence she mumbled that I was peculiar, that that was probably why she loved me but that one day I might disgust her for the very same reason.
A sub-clerk in the post-office is the equal of a conqueror if consciousness is common to them.
To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.
It is natural to give a clear view of the world after accepting the idea that it must be clear.
I used to advertise my loyalty and I don't believe there is a single person I loved that I didn't eventually betray.
Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football.
Camus himself described this work as 'an attempt to understand the time I live in'.
Don't wait for the last judgment -- it takes place every day.
What would become of the world if the condemned started to confide their heartaches to the executioners?
Time drips, heavy, slow.
In that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself -- like a brother, really -- I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again.
This world in itself is not reasonable, that is all that can be said. But what is absurd is the confrontation of this irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart.
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.
Travel, which is like a greater and graver science, brings us back to ourselves.
À chacun son printemps, le mien a des roses de fer.
Creating is living doubly. The groping, anxious quest of a Proust, his meticulous collecting of flowers, of wallpapers, and of anxieties, signifies nothing else.
After all perhaps the greatness of art lies in the perpetual tension between beauty and pain, the love of men and the madness of creation, unbearable solitude and the exhausting crowd, rejection and consent.
It is terrifying to see how easily, in certain people, all dignity collapses. Yet when you think about it, this is quite normal since they only maintain this dignity by constantly striving against their own nature.
Lucifer also has died with God, and from his ashes has arisen a spiteful demon who does not even understand the object of his venture.
The futility of what was happening here seemed to take me by the throat, I felt like vomiting, and I had only one idea: to get it over, to go back to my cell, and sleep... and sleep.
For who would dare to assert that eternal happiness can compensate for a single moment's human suffering.
Tout re volutionnaire finit en oppresseur ou en he re tique. Every revolutionary ends as an oppressor or a heretic.
I feel like getting married, or committing suicide, or subscribing to L'Illustration. Something desperate, you know.
The hopeless hope is what sustains us in difficult moments; our comrades will be more patient than the executioners and more numerous than the bullets.
I noticed that he laid stress on my "intelligence." It puzzled me rather why what would count as a good point in an ordinary person should be used against an accused man as an overwhelming proof of his guilt.
Any thought that abandons unity glorifies diversity. And diversity is the home of art.
They were silent, humiliated by this return of the defeated, furious at their own silence, but the more it was prolonged the less capable they were of breaking it.
Only he who is uncompromising as to his rights maintains the sense of duty.
There is something divine in mindless beauty.
One cannot be a part-time nihilist.
People don't love each other at our age, Marthe--they please each other, that's all. Later on, when you're old and impotent, you can love someone. At our age, you just think you do. That's all it is.
One thinks differently about the same thing in the morning and in the evening. But where is the truth, in the night thought or in the spirit of midday? Two replies, two races of men.
I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.
The innocent is the person who explains nothing.
May heaven protect us, cher monsieur, from being set on a pedestal by our friends!
We have to live and let live in order to create what we are.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf's a flower.
True debauchery is liberating because it creates no obligations. In it you possess only yourself, hence it remains the favorite pastime of the great lovers of their own person.
How hard, how bitter it is to become a man!
You always get exaggerated notions of things you don't know anything about.
I have the loftiest idea, and the most passionate one, of art. Much too lofty to agree to subject it to anything. Much too passionate to want to divorce it from anything.
The most important thing you do everyday you live is deciding not to kill yourself.
People believe a man is in distress because his loved one dies in one day. But his real pain is less futile: it is that he finds out that sadness too does not last. Even pain has no meaning.
Every artist preserves deep within him a single source from which, throughout his lifetime, he draws what he is, and what he says. When the source dries up, the work withers and crumbles.
I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.
The kingdom of heaven will, in fact, appear on earth , but it will be ruled over by men a mere handful to begin with, who will be the Cassars, because they were the first to understand and later, with time, by all men.
The soul of a murderer is blind.
Again and again there comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death. ("The Plague").
It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed.
Poverty, first of all was never a misfortune for me; it was radiant with sunlight.. I owe it to my family, first of all, who lacked everything and who envied practically nothing.
The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm.
I am strangely tired, not from having talked so much but at the mere thought of what I still have to say.
Wandering seemed no more than the happiness of an anxious man.
No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and emotions shared by all.
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.
I spent a long time looking at faces, drinking in smiles. Am I happy or unhappy? It's not very important question. I live with such frenzied intensity.
I have always thought it would be easier to redeem a man steeped in vice and crime than a greedy, narrow-minded, pitiless merchant.
In Italian museums are sometimes found little painted screens that the priest used to hold in front of the face of condemned men to hide the scaffold from them.
In Holland, everyone is an expert in painting and in tulips.
It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all.
The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
The real 19th century prophet was Dostoevsky, not Karl Marx.
There is so much stubborn hope in the human heart.
Life can be magnificent and overwhelming -- that is the whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live.
Absolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom.
In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.
A profound thought is in a constant state of becoming; it adopts the experience of a life and assumes its shape.
No excuses ever, for anyone; that is my principle at the outset. I deny the good intention, the respectable mistake, the indiscretion, the extenuating circumstance. With me there is no giving of absolution or blessing.
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.
Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.
The French Revolution gave birth to no artists but only to a great journalist, desmoulins, and to an under-the-counter writer, sade. The only poet of the times was the guillotine.
Myths are made for the imagination to breath life into them.
Thinking of the future, establishing aims for oneself, having preferences-all this presupposes a belief in freedom, even if one occasionally ascertains that one doesn't feel it.
If Nietzsche is correct, that to shame a man is to kill him, then any honest attempt at autobiography will be an act of self-destruction.
Real fulfillment, for the man who allows absolutely free rein to his desires, and who much dominate everything, lies in hatred.
Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth.
I don't know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I cannot know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it.
I didn't like having to explain to them, so I just shut up, smoked a cigarette, and looked at the sea.
For rich people, the sky is just an extra, a gift of nature. The poor, on the other hand, can see it as it is, a gift of infinite grace.
Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood -- never.
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Murder is terribly exhausting.
I realized people would soon forget me once I was dead. I couldn't even say that this was hard to stomach; really, there's no idea to which one doesn't get acclimatized in time.
Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.
Remembrance of things past is just for the rich. For the poor it only marks the faint traces on the path to death.
I am alive again, now that I can no longer stand to live.
In the end, man is not entirely guilty -- he did not start history. Nor is he wholly innocent -- he continues it.
There is a life and there is a death, and there are beauty and melancholy between.
L'absurde est la notion essentielle et la premie' re ve? rite? . The absurd is the fundamental idea and the first truth.
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.
Every authentic work of art is a gift offered to the future.
What is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying.
I draw from the Absurd three consequences: my revolt, my liberty, my passion.
For the existentials, negation is their God. To be precise, that god is maintained only through the negation of human reason. But, like suicides, gods change with men.
To be famous, in fact, one has only to kill one's landlady.
Nihilism is not only despair and negation, but above all the desire to despair and to negate.
Every time somebody speaks of my honesty, there is someone who quivers inside me.
I rebel; therefore I exist.
Men who have greatness within them don't go in for politics.
I'd have given ten conversations with Einstein for a first meeting with a pretty chorus girl.
Without giving up anything on the plane of justice, yeild nothing on the plane of freedom.
I hope the dogs don't bark tonight. I always think it's mine.
The struggle to reach the top is itself enough to fulfill the heart of man. One must believe that Sisyphus is happy.
To live is to hurt others, and through others, to hurt oneself. Cruel earth! How can we manage not to touch anything? To find what ultimate exile?
On good days, if you trust life, life has to answer you.
To two men living the same number of years, the world always provides the same sum of experiences. It is up to us to be conscious of them.