Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Albert Camus

"Il n'y a pas amour de vivre sans désespoir de vivre." - "There is no love of life without despair of life." (L'Envers et L'Endroit, 1937)

"At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of these trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we had clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise. The primitive hostility of the world rises up to face us across millennia." (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942)

"The absurd is essentially a divorce. It lies in neither of the elements compared [an irrational universe and the human need for reason]; it is born of their confrontation." (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942)

"There is a difference between deciding that life is meaningless and deciding that it is not worth living; indeed, Camus's whole work is a clarification of that difference." (Camus: A Study, 1974)

"If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition; it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn." (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942)

"I have simply understood that there is only one way to make oneself equal to the gods: you must be as cruel as they are." - Caligula (Caligula, 1944)

"All our troubles spring from our failure to use plain, clean-cut language. So I resolved always to speak, and to act, quite clearly." - Tarrou (The Plague, 1948)

"Well, personally, I've seen enough of people who die for an idea. I don't believe in heroism; I know it's easy and I've learnt it can be murderous. What interests me is living and dying for what one loves." - Rambert (The Plague, 1948)

"But now that I've seen what I have seen, I know that I belong here whether I want it or not. This business is everybody's business." - Rambert (The Plague, 1948)

"When innocence has its face smashed, a good Christian must either lose his faith or accept smashed faces." - Tarrou (The Plague, 1948)

"If there is a sin against life, it is perhaps not so much to despair of it, but to hope for another life, and thus rob oneself of the implacable grandeur of the life we have." - Albert Camus

"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." - Albert Camus

"The consequence of rebellion, on the contrary, is to refuse to legitimize murder because rebellion, in principle, is a protest against death." (The Rebel, 1954)

"at least one part of realism is necessary to every ethic: unadulterated virtue, pure and simple, is homicidal. On the other hand, there must be a part of ethics in all realism, for pure cynicism can also be murderous." (The Rebel, 1954)

For years now, every time I hear a political speech, I am frightened because I hear nothing which sounds human. They are always the same words telling the same lies." (Carnets)

"When a worker shakes his naked fist at a tank and cries that he is not a slave, what are we if we remain indifferent." - Albert Camus in speech regarding 1953 Berlin Uprising (1953)

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