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55 Ingenious Albert Camus Quotes

Last updated on Nov 7th, 2016
55 Ingenious Albert Camus Quotes

Albert Camus (born November 7, 1913, Mondovi, Algeria – died January 4, 1960, Villeblevin, France) was a French author, philosopher, journalist, and a representative of non-metropolitan French literature.

While he is often associated as the follower of existentialism, his views and work contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism.

He is best known for novels such as L’Étranger (1942; The Stranger), La Peste (1947; The Plague), La Chute (1956; The Fall), and essays Le Mythe de Sisyphe (1942; The Myth of Sisyphus) and L’Homme révolté (1951; The Rebel).

In 1957, Camus received the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.”

1
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.'Introduction,' The Rebel (1951)
2
If time frightens us, this is because it works out the problem and the solution comes afterward.'An Absurd Reasoning,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
3
I’ll tell you a big secret mon cher. Don’t wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day.The Fall (1956)
4
You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.Notebooks 1935–1942 (1962)
5
Having money is a way of being free of money.'Part One: Natural Death,' A Happy Death (published posthumously 1971)
6
Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man.'Historical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
7
The world evades us because it becomes itself again. That stage scenery masked by habit becomes again what it is.'An Absurd Reasoning,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
8
Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.The Fall (1956)
9
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.'Part II,' The Plague (1947)
10
A nihilist is not one who believes in nothing, but one who does not believe in what exists.'Metaphysical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
11
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.'Intuitions' (October 1932), published in Youthful Writings (1976)
12
If the world were clear, art would not exist.'Absurd Creation,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
13
We use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time.'Part One: Natural Death,' A Happy Death (published posthumously 1971)
14
When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune…The First Man (incomplete, published posthumously 1994)
15
But 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 schoolteacher is well aware of this. And the question is not one of knowing what punishment or reward attends the making of this calculation. The question is that of knowing whether two and two do make four.'Part II,' The Plague (1947)
16
The ancients, even though they believed in destiny, believed primarily in nature, in which they participated wholeheartedly.'Metaphysical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
17
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.'Homage to an Exile' (1955)
18
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. 'An Absurd Reasoning,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
19
In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.Return to Tipasa (1954)
20
Man is an idea, and a precious small idea, once he turns his back on love.'Part II,' The Plague (1947)
21
To rebel against nature amounted to rebelling against oneself.'Metaphysical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
22
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.Notebooks 1935–1942 (1962)
23
To be happy it is essential not to be too concerned with others.The Fall (1956)
24
Fate is not in man but around him.'Part Two: Conscious Death,' A Happy Death (published posthumously 1971)
25
Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.'Part Two,' The Stranger (1942)
26
Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.'Part I,' The Plague (1947)
27
The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown. He must dominate in his turn.'Metaphysical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
28
You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.The Fall (1956)
29
Truth is mysterious, elusive, always to be conquered. Liberty is dangerous, as hard to live with as it is elating.Speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm (December 10, 1957)
30
All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.'Historical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
31
At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman.'An Absurd Reasoning,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
32
What is a rebel? A man who says no, but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. He is also a man who says yes, from the moment he makes his first gesture of rebellion.'The Rebel,' The Rebel (1951)
33
Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.The Fall (1956)
34
We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love – first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.'Part Two: Conscious Death,' A Happy Death (published posthumously 1971)
35
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.'An Absurd Reasoning,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
36
Absolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom. To be fruitful, the two ideas must find their limits in each other.'Thought at the Meridian,' The Rebel (1951)
37
People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.The Fall (1956)
38
Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.Notebooks 1935–1942 (1962)
39
The habit of despair is worse than despair itself.'Part III,' The Plague (1947)
40
One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.'Historical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
41
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us toward death, the body maintains its irreparable lead.'An Absurd Reasoning,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
42
Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death.The Fall (1956)
43
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.Notebooks 1935–1942 (1962)
44
Methods of thought which claim to give the lead to our world in the name of revolution have become, in reality, ideologies of consent and not of rebellion.'Historical Rebellion,' The Rebel (1951)
45
A man always judges himself by the balance he can strike between the needs of his body and the demands of his mind.'Part One: Natural Death,' A Happy Death (published posthumously 1971)
46
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.'Thought at the Meridian,' The Rebel (1951)
47
Everybody was privileged. There were only privileged people.'Part II,' The Stranger (1942)
48
God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow-men suffice, aided by ourselves.The Fall (1956)
49
Men are never really willing to die except for the sake of freedom: therefore they do not believe in dying completely.'Thought at the Meridian,' The Rebel (1951)
50
It is always easy to be logical. It is almost impossible to be logical to the bitter end.'An Absurd Reasoning,' The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
51
The artist forges himself to the others, midway between the beauty he cannot do without and the community he cannot tear himself away from. That is why true artists scorn nothing: they are obliged to understand rather than to judge.Speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm (December 10, 1957)
52
Sometimes it takes more courage to live than to shoot yourself.'Part One: Natural Death,' A Happy Death (published posthumously 1971)
53
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.'The Rebel,' The Rebel (1951)
54
In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.The Minotaur, or the Stop in Oran (1939)
55
Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience.'Part One: Natural Death,' A Happy Death (published posthumously 1971)