55 Ingenious Albert Camus Quotes

Last updated on Jan 2nd, 2024

55 Ingenious Albert Camus Quotes

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

While often associated as a 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.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Introduction, Page 11

2

It is always easy to be logical. It is almost impossible to be logical to the bitter end.The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part I. An Absurd Reasoning, Chapter 1. Absurdity and Suicide, Page 7

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), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 5, Page 111

4

You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.Notebooks 1935-1942 (ed. 1963), Notebook I. May 1935 - September 1937, Page 5

Having money is a way of being free of money. - Albert Camus (A Happy Death Quotes)
5

Having money is a way of being free of money.A Happy Death (1971), (Knopf, ed. 1972), Part I. Natural Death, Chapter 4, Page 46

6

Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part III. Historical Rebellion, Chapter 2.The Deicides, Page 147

7

The world evades us because it becomes itself again. That stage scenery masked by habit becomes again what it is.The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part I. An Absurd Reasoning, Chapter 2. Absurd Walls, Page 11

8

Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.The Fall (1956), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 4, Page 80

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.The Plague (1947), (Penguin, ed. 1947), Part II, Chapter 8, Page 110

A nihilist is not one who believes in nothing, but one who does not believe in what exists. - Albert Camus (The Rebel Quotes)
10

A nihilist is not one who believes in nothing, but one who does not believe in what exists.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part II. Metaphysical Rebellion, Chapter 4. Absolute Affirmation, Section 2. Nietzsche and Nihilism, Page 69

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.Youthful writings (1976), Intuitions (October 1932), Page 156

12

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.The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part I. An Absurd Reasoning, Chapter 2. Absurd Walls, Page 21

13

A man always judges himself by the balance he can strike between the needs of his body and the demands of his mind.A Happy Death ( 1971), (Knopf, ed. 1972), Part I. Natural Death, Chapter 4, Page 36

14

When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune…The First Man (1994), (Knopf, ed. 1995), Part II, Chapter 2, Page 296

Stupidity has a knack of getting its way. - Albert Camus (The Plague Quotes)
15

Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.The Plague (1947), (Penguin, ed. 1947), Part II, Chapter 8, Page 111

16

The ancients, even though they believed in destiny, believed primarily in nature, in which they participated wholeheartedly.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part II. Metaphysical Rebellion, Chapter 1. The Sons of Cain, Page 27

17

Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.Resistance, rebellion, and death (ed. 1961), Homage to an Exile, Page 103

18

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part I. An Absurd Reasoning, Chapter 1. Absurdity and Suicide, Page 3

19

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.Lyrical and critical essays (1968), Part III. Summer (1954), Chapter 7. Return to Tipasa, Page 169

Man is an idea, and a precious small idea, once he turns his back on love. - Albert Camus (The Plague Quotes)
20

Man is an idea, and a precious small idea, once he turns his back on love.The Plague (1947), (Penguin, ed. 1947), Part II, Chapter 9, Page 136

21

To rebel against nature amounted to rebelling against oneself.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part II. Metaphysical Rebellion, Chapter 1. The Sons of Cain, Page 27

22

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.Notebooks 1935-1942 (ed. 1963), Notebook I. May 1935 - September 1937, Page 4

23

To be happy it is essential not to be too concerned with others.The Fall (1956), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 4, Page 80

24

Fate is not in man but around him.A Happy Death (1971), (Knopf, ed. 1972), Part II. Conscious Death, Chapter 5, Page 143

Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter. - Albert Camus (The Stranger Quotes)
25

Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.The Stranger (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1989), Part II, Chapter 5, Page 114

26

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.The Plague (1947), (Penguin, ed. 1947), Part II, Chapter 8, Page 111

27

The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part II. Metaphysical Rebellion, Page 25

28

You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.The Fall (1956), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 3, Page 56

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)

All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State. - Albert Camus (The Rebel Quotes)
30

All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part III. Historical Rebellion, Chapter 4. Individual Terrorism, State Terrorism and Irrational Terror, Page 182

31

At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman.The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part I. An Absurd Reasoning, Chapter 2. Absurd Walls, Page 21

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 (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part I. The Rebel, Page 13

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), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 6, Page 119

34

We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love – first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.A Happy Death (1971), (Knopf, ed. 1972), Part II. Conscious Death, Chapter 4, Page 116

If the world were clear, art would not exist. - Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus Quotes)
35

If the world were clear, art would not exist.The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part III. Absurd Creation, Chapter 1. Philosophy and Fiction, Page 73

36

Absolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom. To be fruitful, the two ideas must find their limits in each other.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part V. Thought at the Meridian, Chapter 1. Rebellion and Murder, Section 2. Historical Murder, Page 291

37

People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.The Fall (1956), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 4, Page 80

38

Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.Notebooks 1935-1942 (ed. 1963), Notebook I. May 1935 - September 1937, Page 51

39

The habit of despair is worse than despair itself.The Plague (1947), (Penguin, ed. 1947), Part III, Chapter 1, Page 149

One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves. - Albert Camus (The Rebel Quotes)
40

One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part III. Historical Rebellion, Chapter 4. Individual Terrorism, State Terrorism and Irrational Terror, Page 182

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.The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part I. An Absurd Reasoning, Chapter 1. Absurdity and Suicide, Page 7

42

Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death.The Fall (1956), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 4, Page 74

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 (ed. 1963), Notebook I. May 1935 - September 1937, Page 6

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.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part III. Historical Rebellion, Chapter 6. Rebellion and Revolution, Page 247

We use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time. - Albert Camus (A Happy Death Quotes)
45

We use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time.A Happy Death (1971), (Knopf, ed. 1972), Part I. Natural Death, Chapter 4, Page 43

46

Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part V. Thought at the Meridian, Chapter 2. Moderation and Excess, Page 296

47

Everybody was privileged. There were only privileged people.The Stranger (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1989), Part II, Chapter 5, Page 121

48

God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow-men suffice, aided by ourselves.The Fall (1956), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Chapter 5, Page 110

49

Men are never really willing to die except for the sake of freedom: therefore they do not believe in dying completely.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part V. Thought at the Meridian, Chapter 1. Rebellion and Murder, Section 2. Historical Murder, Page 291

If time frightens us, this is because it works out the problem and the solution comes afterward. - Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus Quotes)
50

If time frightens us, this is because it works out the problem and the solution comes afterward.The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), (Vintage, ed. 1955), Part I. An Absurd Reasoning, Chapter 2. Absurd Walls, Page 12

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.A Happy Death (1971), (Knopf, ed. 1972), Part I. Natural Death, Chapter 5, Page 54

53

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.The Rebel (1951), (Vintage, ed. 1956), Part V. Thought at the Meridian, Chapter 3. Beyond Nihilism, Page 304

54

To understand this world, one must sometimes turn away from it.Lyrical and critical essays (1968), Part III. Summer (1954), Chapter 1. The Minotaur, or the Stop in Oran, Page 109

Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. - Albert Camus (A Happy Death Quotes)
55

Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience.A Happy Death (1971), (Knopf, ed. 1972), Part I. Natural Death, Chapter 4, Page 43

No Source

1

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.No source (More info)

2

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.No source

3

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.No source

4

Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.No source

5

A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.No source

Misattributed

1

There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.Misattributed (More info)