Albert Caraco (8 July 1919 – 7 September 1971) was a French-Uruguayan philosopher, writer, essayist and poet of Turkish Jewish descent. He is best known for his two major works, Post Mortem (1968) and posthumously published Bréviaire du chaos (1982). He is often compared to the philosophers and writers such as Emil Cioran, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Nicolás Gómez Dávila and Friedrich Nietzsche.
- I spent the first ten years of my life in Germany, the following ten in Paris, the following ten between Argentine and Uruguay.
- The man of letters, p. 207-208; as cited in: Philippe Billé. Remarks about Albert Caraco. at thephora.net, 05-26-2009
- We are too many to live, but never enough to suffer and die.
- Le tombeau de l’histoire, A. La Baconnière (1966), P. 519
- We are all guilty of existing; Gnosis admits that life is a burden and that the salvation of the species lies in chastity, resulting in universal extinction. Jesus — the real Jesus, not the one of the Catholic Church — expressed a similar sentiment when, as some fragments of the Apocryphal Gospels show, he wished that life would cease in order for misery to end, and that he praised a woman named Salome for being sterile, declaring to her that he came for destroying the opera of the women. These are a couple of rational statements that every reasonable man should adopt, but since the majority is neither reasonable nor sensible, new abortions will be raised in misery, shame, disease, and filth.
- Le galant homme, L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1967), p. 221
- Death is not terrible, life is terrible, but we see things literally and figuratively upside down. The philosopher is the one who puts everything back in its proper place.
- L’Ordre et le sexe, L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1970), p. 18
- If the fornicators sin, those who impregnate sin a hundred times more.
- Journal d’une année. L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (2006), p. 143
Semainier de l’an 1969
- The fact that we suffer doesn't necessarily imply that pain is meaningful; quite the contrary! It's always pointless to endure pain, but our vanity refuses to admit it, and therefore builds castles in the air to amuse itself with illusions, which is also called metaphysics.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1985), p. 37
- Pessimism has never been in fashion because no order could stand it; it's a luxury of the mind, and thus beyond the reach of the common man.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1985), p. 57
- Every child believes in its parents: that seems to be the first mistake, for they are usually not gods but ordinary people, and a child will never reach manhood unless it sees through this deception. The free man must be unfaithful to his roots; otherwise, he becomes a servant.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1985), p. 62
- I would be pleased indeed, if the universe were full of blazing ovens, concentration camps, and people deported.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1985), p. 118
- My entire existence is a methodical "NO”.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1985), p. 140
Le Semainier de l’agonie
- Who are the most wicked of men? It's the optimists.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1985), p. 247
- For me, nothingness has a charm that the abortions that populate this place could never have and never will have. I thank heaven that I live here; leaving this world doesn't take any effort.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1985), p. 288
Semainier de l’incertitude
- If I had to live my life over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I fully approve of what I've done, and I'm immensely proud of myself. It's life itself that I despise, not my existence; it's the principle, not its application, that couldn't have been better, given the circumstances.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1994), p. 50
- It's because life itself is inhuman that men are not human.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 52
- According to Gnosis, the universe is the prison of the species and is virtually embraced by fate, which is reminiscent of Sartre despite all the differences in expression. We enter the world through a gate that requires no explanation: we are the outcasts of women. We emerge from the womb and are thrust into something we didn't choose, which is essentially Heidegger's concept of thrownness. Our mothers cast us into the world, and we awaken as prisoners. When our eyes open, we find ourselves in chains. Our existence is like Plato's cave, where we perceive only the shadows of things.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1994), p. 158
Journal of 1969
Journal of 1969, p. 134; Translated and cited in: Philippe Billé. Remarks about Albert Caraco. at thephora.net, 05-26-2009
- French, German, English and Spanish are four admirable languages and I manage to express myself in all of them with more or less skill.
- p. 45
- I don't hide my profession of pessimism and I'm an avowed partisan of reaction.
- p. 104
- I would be pleased indeed, if the universe were full of blazing ovens, and concentration camps, and people deported.
- p. 118
- The educated reader knows, as he reads me, that he is listening to a fugue in four voices.
- p. 134
Ma confession (1975)
- I was born to myself between 1946 and 1948, I then opened my eyes on the world, until that moment I have been blind.
- Translation from: Albert Caraco (1919-1971) at illusioncity.net by Snake June 17, 2012
- Imagine a world in which thirty billion humans would live like the people in Asia, cramped into a few cities the size of France, with hundred-story buildings containing a hundred thousand rooms, where water runs for only two hours a day. Most of them would be born, live, and die in ten-unit structures, breathing air supplied by machines and consuming rather unappetizing food made of algae, cellulose, or even insects. Is it any wonder that some feel the urge to destroy everything, if only to avoid a nightmare that has now become inevitable?
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975) p. 53
- Happiness rarely leads us to intellectual adventures. Writers and artists, not to mention philosophers, are usually dissatisfied with themselves or the world.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 69
- The older I grow, the more Gnosis speaks to my reason: the world is not ruled by a Providence, it's intrinsically evil and deeply absurd, and Creation is either the dream of blind intelligence or the game of a principle without a moral.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 77
- The few truths contained in the so-called Catholic faith lead us back to Gnosticism, which is a precise description of universal misery and absurdity, literally doubling its weight with death. In the light of Gnosis, we rediscover in Existentialism the abandonment and confinement of man: he is left alone, chained, and walks among the crowd under the closed vault of destiny, prey to loneliness and finitude. He discovers that he did not choose the suffering he has to endure, that he was just there, nothing else, and that he cannot transcend this situation since it is part of his essence.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 85
- In every saint there lurks an arrant knave, the marrow of all holiness being absolute hellishness. That's why our Saviors are of no avail, their remedies being too strong for the common man, who is the puppet of his fleshly appetite and not a sinner.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 91
- Great heed has to be taken about the fact that most of us desire to remain unconscious: felicity (in eyes of common man) is rapture and rapture seems a quenching of awareness reduced to the awareness of its obliteration... Sex and Religion are centred on it both and I dare say that their convenience will in future be to join instead of rivalling, as they are wont to do, obscenity will be religious as it was long ago.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 91
- Our moral ideas are not transcendent, our moral ideas are historical and History obeys to changing Aions, we feel that ours is fading and no authority can enforce confidence rooted in what no power includes : in Sensibility itself. To every Aion a new Sensibility adheres and to each Sensibility another Aion is related, sin is nowhere, we only see abuse and worst among abuses, the delusion of sin as such.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 92
- Most of us live betwixt quiet despair and furious nihilism.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1975), p. 94
- I am a racist and a colonialist.
- My Confession, p. 141; as cited in: Philippe Billé. Remarks about Albert Caraco. at thephora.net, 05-26-2009
Bréviaire du chaos (1982)
- Our most terrifying fears and our innermost secret desires for extermination are reflected in this elegant and profound book, without any sort of leniency to attenuate the disgust and hopelessness we feel when faced with a humanity constantly atrophied by a series of values and practices that lead to chaos.
- Original: En este pequeño libro escrito con elegancia y profundidad vemos reflejados nuestros más terribles temores y nuestros más inconfesados deseos de exterminio, sin ningún tipo de lenitivo que pudiera atenuar el asco y la desesperanza frente a una humanidad cada vez más atrofiada por una serie de valores y prácticas que irremediablemente se dirigen al caos.
- Albert Caraco, Rodrigo Santos Rivera. Breviario del caos Editorial Sexto Piso, (2006). Editorial text
- We strive towards death like an arrow towards its target, and we never miss. Death is our only certainty, and we always know that we will die, no matter where, when, or how. The idea of eternal life is nonsense, eternity is not life, death is the rest we seek, life and death are intertwined, and those who demand something else ask for the impossible and will earn nothing but smoke.
- Age d'homme, Lausanne (1999), p. 7 ISBN 9782825109892.
- We, who are not satisfied with empty words, consent to disappear, and we rejoice in our fate. We didn't choose to be born, and consider ourselves fortunate to have nowhere to outlive this life, which was imposed upon us rather than given — a life full of sorrows and pains with dubious or harmful pleasures.
- Age d'homme, Lausanne (1999), p. 7 ISBN 9782825109892.
- The cities we inhabit are schools of death because they are inhuman. Each has become a den of noise and stench. Each has become a chaos of buildings where we amass ourselves by the millions, losing our life's purpose. Unfortunates, with no escape, we feel that we have put ourselves, willingly or not, in the labyrinth of the absurd, from which we will only emerge dead, for our destiny is to multiply without end, only to perish in great numbers. With each turn of the wheel, the cities we inhabit advance imperceptibly towards each other, aspiring to merge into an absolute chaos of noise and stench. With each turn of the wheel, the price of land rises, and in the labyrinth that devours free space, the revenue from investments builds hundreds of walls, day after day. Since money must work and the cities we inhabit must progress, it's still legitimate for their houses to double in height with each generation, even if they lack water every two days. The builders only seek to escape the fate they are preparing for us by fleeing to the countryside.
- Age d'homme, Lausanne (1999), p. 9 ISBN 9782825109892.
- Since order is not infallible, it is up to war to one day remedy its faults, and as order continues to multiply them, we are heading towards war; war and the future seem inseparable. This is the only certainty: death is, in a word, the meaning of everything, and man is but a thing in the face of death, as are nations. History is a passion, and its victims are legion. The world we live in is hell moderated by nothingness, where man, refusing to know himself, prefers to sacrifice himself like an animal species that has become too numerous - similar to swarms of locusts and armies of rats - believing that it is more sublime to perish, to perish innumerable times, than to finally reconsider the world he inhabits.
- Age d'homme, Lausanne (1999), p. 11, ISBN 9782825109892.
- We live for death, love for death, and give birth and toil for death. Our works and days now follow one another in the shadow of death. The discipline we adhere to, the values we uphold, and the plans we make all lead to one end: death.
- Age d'homme, Lausanne (1999), p. 14 ISBN 9782825109892.
- Evil desires men to multiply, for the more men there are, the less they are worth. To be truly human, man will never be rare enough.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1982), p. 77
- Life is no longer sacred from the moment the living become too numerous. The lives of surplus men are no more valuable than those of insects, and soldiers killed in war are no different in the eyes of those who command them.
- L’Âge d’Homme, Lausanne (1982), p. 79
- Albert Caraco (1919-1971) at illusioncity.net
- Bréviaire du chaos (1982) at archive.org. (in French)
- English Translation of Albert Caraco's Breviary of Chaos & Fragments