There's a quote here from Camus' journals that references the effort it takes to be normal. The quote points out that it does not appear in any of Camus’ “books in bookstores.” This quote dealing with the same idea needs to be placed below it. It is from a conversation in The Plague between Rieux and Grand.
"Too long! It's lasted too long. All the time one's wanting to let oneself go, and then one day one has to. Oh, doctor, I know I look a quiet sort, just like anybody else. But it's always been a terrible effort only to be, just normal. And now, well, even that's too much for me."
I dont know where I should place this quote with in the article.
"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." ~Albert Camus
--126.96.36.199 07:25, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
- I scarcely believe he said it. Do you have a citation for that?--188.8.131.52 14:28, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
- Only a COWARD would say something like that. A coward who is afraid of death and willing to believe anything in order to avoid the inevitable. So I seriously doubt Albert Camus made that statement. 184.108.40.206 01:18, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
- In reply to the below comment.
- Camus speaks in the Myth of Sisyphus of the nullification of both morality and immorality in the face of the absurd. Camus simply suggests ammorality, or rather 'integrity' to act with self honesty and consistent motivation/desire. It is incorrect to say Camus had any desire to prevent the abandonment of morality; he at most says that it is not off the table, or that "one can be virtuous on a whim" (Myth of Sisuphyus). Though he may have wrote a sympathetic piece on religion early on, you cannot deny the coldness, or outright objection towards it shown in later works (The Stranger, The Plague). He was fundamentally opposed to the idea of salvation and believing in the certainty of a God; such is the core idea from which his Absurdist philosophy springs. 220.127.116.11 02:53, 6 February 2022 (UTC)
- Unfortunately, the previous writer obviously knows very little about the philosophy of Camus. Camus was an atheist yes, but he was also very concerned with atheism and the lack of morality that could possibly result from it. His main qualm with the church was their over complication of morality, which he believed was a very simple truth of life that one must abide by. His intention of the quotation concerning God above is to express his fundamental belief that morality cannot be abandoned. Camus was an atheist, but for those of you that love him for cynicism you have the wrong guy. He does not think life has a fundamental point and thus "we must imagine Sisyphus happy" (The Myth of Sisyphus), but not get caught up in its pointlessness. He has dark leanings, but he is forever trying to escape them and focus on living in the joys of a life free of contemplation; hence his love of sports and activity. If you are looking for a philosopher who hates religion try Nietzsche, but Camus and Sartre are both very respectful of the ability to chose to religion if it is done wisely. In fact, they find their lack of faith depressing in some works. To say that only "a COWARD" would say something like that is to be proud and not understand the depths of the absurdity and hopes of redemption that Albert Camus struggled with. If you desire further proof, look at his college thesis; it concerned Augustine and Plutarch, two fundamental Christian theologists and philosophers that Camus felt a great affinity for. Before making such claims, please know what you are talking about. : —This unsigned comment is by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs) .
Wasn't Camus an atheist? The stranger, Myth of Sisyphus etc..
- he was an atheist, a quick google shows this is just one of those misquotes that randomly turns up on fundamentalist christian websites. They often do the same thing with einstein. 22.214.171.124
- Sounds like a spin on Pascal's wager, and really doesn't go along with most of what Camus argued.
- I don't think he said that, although Camus' Sisyphus is a kind of spin on Pascal's Wager. According to Camus our lives are rendered absurd by the no-knowability of whether or not there is a god; whether or not our lives have meaning (same question, different spin, not necessarily dependant on god). The question is then what to do when faced with this absurdity? Should we embrace nihilism or continue as if our lives have meaning? The conclusion of Camus' Myth of Sisyphus is that "we must imagine Sisyphus happy." It is not just that we must make this choice but that we can make no other. Choosing nihilism would be a meaningful reaction to conditions of absurdity because it would be our human choice. In Mearleu-Ponty's phrase, we are condemned to meaning. (Here you can see the radical difference between Camus' and Sartre's Existentialism. For Satre we are condemned to be free. No such luck with Camus.) Pascal argued we should, logically, wager on God. Camus demonstrates that we have no choice but to wager on meaning. What that meaning might be we are welcome to fill out for ourselves.
absolute nonsense! it is possible that a character in one of his books said something like that, but camus himself was not just an atheist, he had an absurdist stance.
"god is maintained only through the negation of human reason" THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS-p41 "The perception of an angel or a god has no meaning for me" THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS-p46
Car Crash Quote?
While I'm here - I've heard somewhere that Camus once said that a car accident is the most absurd way to die; a horrifyingly (and halariously) ironic statement considering his death. Does anyone know where this might be found? It's certainly worth putting up here.
--126.96.36.199 14:28, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
What's With The Religious Pictures?
Why are there subtle pictures that relate to religion on Albert Camus's quote page? Picture of "Jesus," various pictures of a bright light in the sky... Camus wasn't religious.
- if you look at the picture and read the quote below it, they both relate in some way.--McNoddy 12:50, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
- yes, they relate --in some lame, inappropriate way.--Diagoras of melos 22:57, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
The point of many of these is to help make the points of Camus penetrate into the often relatively pointless perspectives of people whose awareness and appreciation of many things are so shallow and narrow as to not see much point to anything, often obsessed with pointing towards many things with distaste, disapproval and absolutist scorn of ideas, because they cannot immediately understand them, and perhaps believe they can silence such ideas with sufficient scorn. Camus is clearly addressing broad ranges of ideas, including religious ones, and one of the ultimate points of many philosophies, and especially the absurdism Camus develops is to come to greater appreciation of "The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point." So it goes… ⨀∴☥☮♥∵ॐ …Blessings. ~ ♞☤☮♌Kalki·†·⚓⊙☳☶⚡ 20:26, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
- With all due respect (more respect than your oblique insults have shown to others, anyway), the purpose of this page is to provide a simple list of Camus quotations, not to serve as an object lesson in his teachings. Krychek (talk) 20:24, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote from this list please move it to Albert Camus. --Antiquary 14:11, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
With original French:
- C'est bien là le génie: l'intelligence qui connaît ses frontières.
- That's what a genius is: an intelligence that knows its limits.
- L'homme enfin n'est pas entièrement coupable — il n'a pas commencé l'histoire — ni tout à fait innocent, puisqu'il la continue.
- In the end, man is not entirely guilty — he did not start history. Nor is he wholly innocent — he continues it. - I found this quote in the Rebel and added it to the main page. Part V: Thought at the Meridian (the section is called "Moderation and Excess". Look for the quote in the original French. (http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/camus_albert/homme_revolte/camus_homme_revolte.pdf) 2:03, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
- Happiness, too, is inevitable.
- A healthy attitude also includes faults.
- A little thought estranges from life, whereas much thought reconciles to life. Unable to refine the real, thought pauses to mimic it.
- A man wants to earn money in order to be happy, and his whole effort and best of a life are devoted to earning that money. Happiness is forgotten; the means are taken for the end.
- Accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience: It should not become a dead end. It arouses a revolt that can be fruitful. An analysis of the idea of revolt could help us discover ideas capable of restoring a relative meaning to existence, although a meaning that would always be in danger.
- After all, ironic philosophies produce passionate works.
- All executioners are of the same family.
- All I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football.
- All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.
- All of us, among the ruins, are preparing a renaissance beyond the limits of nihilism. But few of us know it.
- Analysis of rebellion leads at least to the suspicion that, contrary to the postulates of contemporary thought, a human nature does exist, as the Greeks believed. Why rebel if there is nothing permanent in oneself worth preserving? ... Rebellion, though apparently negative, since it creates nothing, is profoundly positive in that it reveals the part of man which must always be defended.
- Barbarism is never temporary. Sufficient allowance is never made for it, and, quite naturally, from art barbarism extends to morals.
- 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.
- Being able to remain on that dizzying crest — that is integrity and the rest is subterfuge.
- Being aware of one's life, one's revolt, one's freedom, and to the maximum, is living, and to the maximum.
- But I have been sought out, as each individual has been sought out. Artists of the past could at least keep silent in the face of tyranny. The tyrannies of today are improved; they no longer admit of silence or neutrality. One has to take a stand, be either for or against. Well, in that case, I am against.
- But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
- By what right, moreover, could a Christian or a Marxist accuse me, for example, of pessimism? I was not the one to invent the misery of the human being or the terrifying formulas of divine malediction.
- Charm is a way of getting the answer "Yes" without asking a clear question.
- Conformity is one of the nihilistic temptations of rebellion which dominate a large part of our intellectual history. It demonstrates how the rebel who takes to action is tempted to succumb, if he forgets his origins, to the most absolute conformity. And so it explains the twentieth century.
- Creating is living doubly.
- Differences are the roots without which the tree of liberty, the sap of creation and of civilization, dries up.
- 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.
- Even men without a gospel have their Mount of Olives. And one must not fall asleep on theirs either.
- Even revolution, particularly revolution, which claims to be materialist, is only a limitless metaphysical crusade.
- Even those who are fed up with morality ought to realize that it is better to suffer certain injustices than to commit them even in wars, and that such deeds do us more harm than a hundred underground forces on the enemy's side.
- Every achievement is a servitude. It drives us to a higher achievement.
- Every act of creation, by its mere existence, denies the world of master and slave. The appalling society of tyrants and slaves in which we survive will find its death and transfiguration only on the level of creation.
- Every ethic based on solitude implies the exercise of power.
- For capital punishment to be really intimidating, human nature would have to be different; it would have to be as stable and serene as the law itself. But then human nature would be dead.
- For men of today there is an inner way, which I know well from having taken it in both directions, leading from the spiritual hilltops to the capitals of crime. And doubtless one can always rest, fall asleep on the hilltop or board with crime. But if one forgoes a part of what is, one must forgo being oneself; one must forgo living or loving otherwise than by proxy. There is thus a will to live without rejecting anything of life, which is the virtue I honor most in this world.
- For some time the entire effort of our philosophers has aimed solely at replacing the notion of human nature with that of situation, and replacing ancient harmony with the disorderly advance of chance or reason's pitiless progress. Whereas the Greeks gave to will the boundaries of reason, we have come to put the will's impulse in the very center of reason, which has, as a result, become deadly.
- For twenty centuries the sum total of evil has not diminished in the world.
- From my first articles to my latest book I have written so much, and perhaps too much, only because I cannot keep from being drawn toward everyday life, toward those, whoever they may be, who are humiliated and debased. They need to hope, and if all keep silent or if they are given a choice between two kinds of humiliation, they will be forever deprived of hope and we with them.
- From the evening breeze to this hand on my shoulder, everything has its truth. Consciousness illuminates it by paying attention to it.
- From the humanitarian idylls of the eighteenth century to the bloodstained gallows the way leads directly; and the executioners of today, as everyone knows, are humanists.
- From the moment that eternal principles are put in doubt simultaneously with formal virtue, and when every value is discredited, reason will start to act without reference to anything but its own successes... All that was God's will henceforth be rendered to Caesar.
- Half a man's life is spent in implying, in turning away, and in keeping silent.
- He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hope for the human condition is a fool.
- He who rejects the entire past, without keeping any part of it which could serve to breathe life into the revolution, condemns himself to finding justification only in the future and, in the meantime, to entrusting the police with the task of justifying the provisional state of affairs... The future is the only transcendental value for men without God.
- Heraclitus, the discoverer of the constant change of things, nevertheless set a limit to this perpetual process. This limit was symbolized by Nemesis, the goddess of moderation and the implacable enemy of the immoderate.
- Historical reasoning is not a type of reasoning that, within the framework of its own functions, can pass judgment on the world. While pretending to judge it, it really tries to determine its course. Essentially a part of events, it directs them and is simultaneously pedagogic and all-conquering.
- Historical thought was to deliver man from subjection to a divinity; but this liberation demanded of him the most absolute subjection to historical evolution. The man takes refuge in the permanence of the party in the same way that he formerly prostrated himself before the altar. That is why the era which dares to claim that it is the most rebellious that has ever existed only offers a choice of various types of conformity. The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.
- History without a value to transfigure it, is controlled by the law of expediency.
- History, undoubtedly, is one of the limits of man's experience; in this sense the revolutionaries are right. But man, by rebelling, imposes in his turn a limit to history, and at this limit the promise of a value is born... The triumphant revolution must prove by means of its police, its trials, and its excommunications that there is no such thing as human nature. Humiliated rebellion, by its contradictions, its sufferings, its continuous defeats, and its inexhaustible pride, must give its content of hope and suffering to this nature.
- I do not have much liking for the too famous existential philosophy, and, to tell the truth, I think its conclusions false. But at least it represents a great adventure of the mind... No, everything is not summed up in negation and absurdity. We know this. But we must first posit negation and absurdity because they are what our generation has encountered and what we must take into account.
- I have seen people behave badly with great morality and I note every day that integrity has no need of rules.
- Variant: Integrity has no need for rules.
- I have shared and I still share many of the contemporary frenzies. But I have never been able to get myself to spit, as so many others do, on the word "honor."
- I loathe none but executioners.
- I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don't want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive.
- If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practice the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this.
- If our age admits, with equanimity, that murder has its justifications, it is because of this indifference to life which is the mark of nihilism.
- 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.
- If, after all, men cannot always make history have a meaning, they can always act so that their own lives have one.
- If something worth living for is worth dying for, what about something not worth dying for?
- In certain men, the fire of eternity consuming them is great enough for them to burn in it the very heart of those closest to them.
- In my case, I have always drawn my hope from the idea of fecundity.
- In our daily trials rebellion plays the same role as does the "cogito" in the realm of thought: it is the first piece of evidence. But this evidence lures the individual from his solitude. It founds its first value on the whole human race. I rebel — therefore we exist.
- In the difficult hour we are living, what else can I desire than to exclude nothing and to learn how to braid with white thread and black thread a single cord stretched to the breaking-point? In everything I have done or said up to now, I seem to recognize these two forces, even when they are at cross-purposes.
- In the light, the earth remains our first and our last love. Our brothers are breathing under the same sky as we; justice is a living thing. Now is born that strange joy which helps one live and die, and which we shall never again postpone to a later time. On the sorrowing earth it is the unresting thorn, the bitter brew, the harsh wind off the sea, the old and the new dawn.
- In the twentieth century power wears the mask of tragedy.
- In the universe suddenly restored to its silence, the myriad wondering little voices of the earth rise up. Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and the price of victory. There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night.
- Indeed, it is not so much identical conclusions that prove minds to be related as the contradictions that are common to them.
- Is it possible eternally to reject injustice without ceasing to acclaim the nature of man and the beauty of the world? Our answer is yes. This ethic, at once unsubmissive and loyal, is in any event the only one that lights the way to a truly realistic revolution.
- It is not much to be able to do violence when you have been simply preparing for it for years and when violence is more natural to you than thinking. It is a great deal, on the other hand, to face torture and death when you know for a fact that hatred and violence are empty things in themselves. 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.
- Liberty ultimately seems to me, for societies and for individuals, for labor and for culture, the supreme good that governs all others.
- Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — That is its whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live.
- Life is this dichotomy itself, the mind soaring over volcanoes of light, the madness of justice, the extenuating intransigence of moderation.
- Live to the point of tears.
- 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.
- Man is that force which ultimately cancels all tyrants and gods.
- Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
- Messianism, in order to exist, must construct a defense against the victims.
- National society can be preserved only by opening it up to a universal perspective.
- Nature is still there, however. She contrasts her calm skies and her reasons with the madness of men. Until the atom too catches fire and history ends in the triumph of reason and the agony of the species. But the Greeks never said that the limit could not be overstepped. They said it existed and that whoever dared to exceed it was mercilessly struck down. Nothing in present history can contradict them.
- No great work has ever been based on hatred or contempt... Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and this is its whole secret.
- No human being, even the most passionately loved and passionately loving, is ever in our possession.
- None among us is authorized to despair of a single man, except after his death, which transforms his life into destiny and then permits a definitive judgment. But pronouncing the definitive judgment before his death, decreeing the closing of accounts when the creditor is still alive, is no man's right. On this limit, at least, whoever judges absolutely condemns himself absolutely.
- Nothing is given to men, and the little they can conquer is paid for with unjust deaths. But man's greatness lies elsewhere. It lies in his decision to be stronger than his condition. And if his condition is unjust, he has only one way of overcoming it, which is to be just himself.
- Of all kinds of fate the least deceptive is the one that is lived.
- Of whom and of what indeed can I say: "I know that!" This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction.
- One can reject all history and yet accept the world of the sea and the stars.
- One of the temptations of an artist is to believe himself solitary ...But this is not true. He stands in the midst of all, in the same rank
- One recognizes one's course by discovering the paths that stray from it.
- "Only the modern city," Hegel dares to write, "offers the mind a field in which it can become aware of itself." We are thus living in the period of big cities. Deliberately, the world has been amputated of all that constitutes its permanence: nature, the sea, hilltops, evening meditation. Consciousness is to be found only in the streets, because history is to be found only in the streets — this is the edict.
- Our criminals are no longer helpless children who could plead love as their excuse. On the contrary, they are adults and they have a perfect alibi: philosophy, which can be used for any purpose — even for transforming murderers into judges.
- Our most effective terrorists, whether they are armed with bombs or with poetry, hardly escape from infancy.
- Philosophy secularizes the ideal. But tyrants appear who soon secularize the philosophies that give them the right to do so.
- Politics and the fate of mankind are formed by men without ideals and without greatness. Those who have greatness within them do not go in for politics.
- Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.
- Rebellion's demand is unity; historical revolution's demand is totality.
- Suffering is never provisional for the man who does not believe in the future.
- Temporal idols demanding an absolute faith tirelessly decree absolute punishments.
- The age of enlightenment, as people say, wanted to suppress the death penalty on the pretext that man was naturally good. Of course he is not (he is worse or better). After twenty years of our magnificent history we are well aware of this. But precisely because he is not absolutely good, no one among us can pose as an absolute judge and pronounce the definitive elimination of the worst among the guilty, because no one of us can lay claim to absolute innocence.
- The aim of art, the aim of a life can only be to increase the sum of freedom and responsibility to be found in every man and in the world.
- The Church has been so harsh with heretics only because she deemed that there is no worse enemy than a child who has gone astray. But the record of Gnostic effronteries and the persistence of Manichean currents have contributed more to the construction of orthodox dogma than all the prayers.
- The contrary of a civilized nation is a creative nation.
- The current motto for all of us can only be this: without giving up anything on the plane of justice, yield nothing on the plane of freedom.
- The divine availability of the condemned man before whom the prison doors open in a certain early dawn, that unbelievable disinterestedness with regard to everything except for the pure flame of life — it is clear that death and the absurd are here the principles of the only reasonable freedom: that which a human heart can experience and live.
- The doctrines of evolution and the notions of selection that accompany them have made of the future of society a final end. The political utopias that were grafted onto those doctrines placed at the end of time a golden age that justified in advance any enterprises whatever.
- The Empire supposes a negation and a certainty: the certainty of the infinite malleability of man and the negation of human nature.
- The fecundity and the importance of a literary form are often measured by the trash it contains.
- The great novelists are philosopher-novelists whom write in images instead of arguments.
- The important thing, as Abbé Galiani said to Mme d'Epinay, is not to be cured, but to live with one's ailments.
- The irrational imposes limits on the rational, which, in its turn, gives it its moderation.
- The majority of revolutions are shaped by, and derive their originality from, murder.
- The man whose blood, and extravagances, and frail heart lead him to the commonest weaknesses must rely on something in order to get to the point of respecting himself and hence of respecting others. This is why I loathe a certain self-satisfied virtue, I loathe society's dreadful morality because it results, exactly like absolute cynicism, in making men despair and in keeping them from taking responsibility for their own life with all its weight of errors and greatness.
- The miner who is exploited or shot down, the slaves in the camps, those in the colonies, the legions of persecuted throughout the world — they need all those who can speak to communicate their silence and to keep in touch with them.
- The most painful thing to bear is seeing a mockery made of what one loves.
- The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm.
- The night on Golgotha is so important in the history of man only because, in its shadow, the divinity abandoned its traditional privileges and drank to the last drop, despair included, the agony of death. This is the explanation of the Lama sabactani and the heartrending doubt of Christ in agony. The agony would have been mild if it had been alleviated by hopes of eternity. For God to be a man, he must despair.
- The nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in their most profound manifestations, are centuries that have tried to live without transcendence.
- The philosopher, even if he is Kant, is a creator.
- The punishment that aims to intimidate an unknown murderer certainly confers a vocation of killer on many another monster about whom there is no doubt.
- The real universe which, by its radiance, calls forth bodies and statues receives from them at the same time a second light that determines the light from the sky.
- The rule of our action, the secret of our resistance can be easily stated: everything that humiliates labor also humiliates the intelligence, and vice versa. And the revolutionary struggle, the centuries-old straining toward liberation can be defined first of all as a double and constant rejection of humiliation.
- The triumph of the man who kills or tortures is marred by only one shadow: he is unable to feel that he is innocent. Thus, he must create guilt in his victim so that, in a world that has no direction, universal guilt will authorize no other course of action than the use of force and give its blessing to nothing but success. When the concept of innocence disappears from the mind of the innocent victim himself, the value of power establishes a definitive rule over a world in despair.
- The unbeliever cannot keep from thinking that men who have set at the center of their faith the staggering victim of a judicial error ought at least to hesitate before committing legal murder.
- There always comes a time when one must choose between contemplation and action. This is called becoming a man.
- There are means that cannot be excused.
- There are no frontiers between the disciplines that man sets himself for understanding and loving. They interlock, and the same anxiety merges them.
- There are no just people — merely hearts more or less lacking in justice. Living at least allows us to discover this and to add to the sum of our actions a little of the good that will make up in part for the evil we have added to the world. Such a right to live, which allows a chance to make amends, is the natural right of every man, even the worst man... Without that right, moral life is utterly impossible.
- There is not one human being who, above a certain elementary level of consciousness, does not exhaust himself in trying to find formulas or attitudes that will give his existence the unity it lacks. Appearance and action, the dandy and the revolutionary, all demand unity in order to exist, and in order to exist on this earth.
- There is scarcely any passion without struggle.
- There is so much stubborn hope in the human heart. The most destitute men often end up by accepting illusion. That approval prompted by the need for peace inwardly parallels the existential consent. There are thus gods of light and idols of mud. But it is essential to find the middle path leading to the faces of man.
- These paltry and essential belongings, these relative truths are the only ones to stir me. As for the others, the "ideal" truths, I have not enough soul to understand them. Not that one must be an animal, but I find no meaning in the happiness of angels.
- Those who reject the agony of living and dying wish to dominate.
- To a man devoid of blinders, there is no finer sight than that of the intelligence at grips with a reality that transcends it.
- To come alive again, one needs a special grace, self-forgetfulness, or a homeland. Certain mornings, on turning a corner, a delightful dew falls on the heart and then evaporates. But its coolness remains, and this is what the heart requires always. I had to set out again.
- To create is likewise to give a shape to one's fate.
- To create today is to create dangerously. . . Danger makes men classical, and all greatness, after all, is rooted in risk.
- To ensure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough; a police force is needed as well.
- To force solitude on a man who has just come to understand that he is not alone, is that not the definitive crime against man?
- To impoverish that reality whose inhumanity constitutes man's majesty is tantamount to impoverishing him himself. I understand then why the doctrines that explain everything to me also debilitate me at the same time. They relieve me of the weight of my own life, and yet I must carry it alone.
- To tell the truth, far from being romantic, I believe in the necessity of a rule and an order. I merely say that there can be no question of just any rule whatsoever.
- To work and create "for nothing," to sculpture in clay, to know that one's creation has no future, to see one's work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries — this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions. Performing these two tasks simultaneously, negating on the one hand and magnifying on the other, is the way open to the absurd creator. He must give the void its colors.
- Totalitarian tyranny is not based on the virtues of the totalitarians. It is based on the mistakes of the liberals.
- Totality is, in effect, nothing other than the ancient dream of unity common to both believers and rebels, but projected horizontally onto an earth deprived of God.
- Unity and diversity, and never one without the other...
- Utopia replaces God by the future. Then it proceeds to identify the future with ethics; the only values are those which serve this particular future. For that reason Utopias have almost always been coercive and authoritarian.
- Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil. Nor can it identify itself completely with reality without denying itself.
- We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.
- We have a right to think that truth with a capital letter is relative. But facts are facts. And whoever says that the sky is blue when it is gray is prostituting words and preparing the way for tyranny.
- We have nothing to lose except everything.
- We have to live and let live in order to create what we are.
- We live in an unsacrosanct moment in history.
- We must accept the dangers: the era of chairbound artists is over. But we must reject the bitterness ... 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.
- When law ventures, in the hope of dominating, into the dark regions of consciousness, it has little chance of being able to simplify the complexity it wants to codify.
- When the meaning of life has been suppressed, there still remains life.
- You will never be happy if you keep searching for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you keep looking for the meaning of life without living it.
Unsourced/missourced quote in the "disputed" section
"Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth."
In the "disputed" section, someone claimed as a potential source:
- This appears in the handwritten manuscript for the L'Etranger, but not apparently in the English translations. See https://twitter.com/lit_books/status/491648425654751232?lang=en Someone who reads French is needed to verify.
This tweet is entirely wrong. The manuscript has nothing to do with Camus, as it shows page 20 of a manuscript of Samuel Beckett's French translation of his own book The Lost Ones, translated as "Le dépeupleur". The whole notebook can be read online at Washington University. Worse, the quote is not found in the manuscript.
I left the quote in the "disputed" section as I don't know Wikiquote's policies. As a layman, the Picasso misattribution hypothesis seems most likely to me. --ÉcorceDeLiège (talk) 15:04, 5 November 2018 (UTC)