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Albert Camus Quotes

62 of the best book quotes from Albert Camus
  1. #1
    “And the more I thought about it, the more I dug out my memory things I had overlooked or forgotten. I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored. In a way, it was an advantage.”
  2. #2
    “Yes, it was the hour when, a long time ago, I was perfectly content. What awaited me back then was always a night of easy, dreamless sleep. And yet something has changed, since it was back to my cell that I went to wait for the next day… as if familiar paths traced in summer skies could lead as easily to prison as to the sleep of the innocent.”
  3. #3
    “She said, ‘If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church.’ She was right. There was no way out.”
  4. #4
    ”‘I am on your side. But you have no way of knowing it, because your heart is blind.‘”
  5. #5
    “On their way out, and much to my surprise, they all shook my hand – as if that night during which we hadn’t exchanged as much as a single word had somehow brought us closer together. ”
  6. #6
    “Still, to my mind he overdid it, and I’d have liked to have a chance of explaining to him, in a quite friendly, almost affectionate way, that I have never been able really to regret anything in all my life. I’ve always been far too much absorbed in the present moment, or the immediate future, to think back.”
  7. #7
    “I told him I was quite prepared to go; but really I didn’t care much one way or the other. He then asked if a ‘change of life,’ as he called it, didn’t appeal to me, and I answered that one never changed his way of life; one life was as good as another, and my present one suited me quite well.”
  8. #8
    “In a way, they seemed to be arguing the case as if it had nothing to do with me. Everything was happening without my participation. My fate was being decided without anyone so much as asking my opinion.”
  9. #9
    “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: ‘Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.’ That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.”
  10. #10
    “But all the long speeches, all the interminable days and hours that people had spent talking about my soul, had left me with the impression of a colorless swirling river that was making me dizzy.”
  1. #11
    “I was assailed by memories of a life that wasn’t mine anymore, but one in which I’d found the simplest and most lasting joys.”
  2. #12
    “A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so.”
  3. #13
    “Neither of the two men, at these times, showed the least hostility toward me, and everything went so smoothly, so amiably, that I had an absurd impression of being ‘one of the family.‘”
  4. #14
    “He added, ‘You see, she had friends here, people her own age. She was able to share things from the old days with them. You’re young, and it must have been hard for her with you.‘”
  5. #15
    “At that time, I often thought that if I had had to live in the trunk of a dead tree, with nothing to do but look up at the sky flowing overhead, little by little I would have gotten used to it.”
  6. #16
    “The heat was beginning to scorch my cheeks; beads of sweat were gathering in my eyebrows. It was just the same sort of heat as at my mother’s funeral, and I had the same disagreeable sensations—especially in my forehead, where all the veins seemed to be bursting through the skin.”
  7. #17
    “And I, too, felt ready to start life all over again. It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.”
  8. #18
    “She was pressing her brown, sun-tanned face to the bars and smiling as hard as she could. I thought she was looking very pretty, but somehow couldn’t bring myself to tell her so.”
  9. #19
    “My turn came next. Marie threw me a kiss. I looked back as I walked away. She hadn’t moved; her face was still pressed to the rails, her lips still parted in that tense, twisted smile.”
  10. #20
    “Asked if I was one of his customers, he said, ‘Yes, and a friend as well.’ Asked to state his opinion of me, he said that I was ‘all right’ and, when told to explain what he meant by that, he replied that everyone knew what that meant. ‘Was I a secretive sort of man?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘I shouldn’t call him that. But he isn’t one to waste his breath, like a lot of folks.‘”
    author
    Albert Camus
    book
    The Stranger
    character
    Meursault
    concept
    quiet

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  1. #21
    “No, we should go forward, groping our way through the darkness, stumbling perhaps at times, and try to do what good lay in our power.”
  2. #22
    “They fancied themselves free, and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.”
  3. #23
    “No . . . You can’t understand. You’re using the language of reason, not of the heart; you live in a world of abstractions.”
  4. #24
    “I know it’s an absurd situation, but we’re all involved in it, and we’ve got to accept it as it is.”
  5. #25
    “We tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn’t always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away.”
  6. #26
    “If there is one thing one can always yearn for and sometimes attain, it is human love.”
  7. #27
    “No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and emotions shared by all.”
  8. #28
    “From now on it was different; they seemed at the mercy of the sky’s caprices—in other words, suffered and hoped irrationally.”
  9. #29
    “The truth is that nothing is less sensational than pestilence, and by reason of their very duration great misfortunes are monotonous.”
  10. #30
    “Then came the second phase of conflict, tears and pleadings—abstraction, in a word. In those fever-hot, nerve-ridden sickrooms crazy scenes took place.”
  1. #31
    “Thus each of us had to be content to live only for the day, alone under the vast indifference of the sky.”
  2. #32
    “What we learn in time of pestilence: that there are more things to admire in men than to despise.”
  3. #33
    “Thus the first thing that plague brought to our town was exile.”
  4. #34
    “At first the fact of being cut off from the outside world was accepted with a more or less good grace, much as people would have put up with any other temporary inconvenience that interfered with only a few of their habits. But, now they had abruptly become aware that they were undergoing a sort of incarceration.”
  5. #35
    “To fight abstraction you must have something of it in your own make-up . . . Abstraction for him was all that stood in the way of happiness.”
  6. #36
    “Hostile to the past, impatient of the present, and cheated of the future, we were much like those whom men’s justice, or hatred, forces to live behind prison bars.”
  7. #37
    “I’ve been thinking it over for years. While we loved each other we didn’t need words to make ourselves understood. But people don’t love forever. A time came when I should have found the words to keep her with me – only I couldn’t.”
  8. #38
    “The habit of despair is worse than despair itself.”
  9. #39
    “A feeling normally as individual as the ache of separation from those one loves suddenly became a feeling in which all shared alike and-together with fear-the greatest affliction of the long period of exile that lay ahead.”
  10. #40
    “You must picture the consternation of our little town, hitherto so tranquil, and now, out of the blue, shaken to its core, like a quite healthy man who all of a sudden feels his temperature shoot up and the blood seething like wildfire in his veins.”

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  1. #41
    “Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.”
  2. #42
    “If I admit that my freedom has no meaning except in relation to its limited fate, then I must say that what counts is not the best living but the most living.”
  3. #43
    “Creating is living doubly . . . Creation is the great mime.”
  4. #44
    “If it were sufficient to love, things would be too easy.”
  5. #45
    “There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”
  6. #46
    “How can one fail to realize that in this vulnerable universe everything that is human and solely human assumes a more vivid meaning?”
  7. #47
    “The great novelists are philosophical novelists . . . They consider the work of art both as an end and a beginning. It is the outcome of an often unexpressed philosophy, its illustration and its consummation. But it is complete only through the implications of that philosophy.”
  8. #48
    “At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman.”
  9. #49
    “Any thought that abandons unity glorifies diversity. And diversity is the home of art.”
  10. #50
    “Existence is illusory or it is eternal.”
  1. #51
    “Rising, street-car, four hours in the office or the factory, meal, street-car, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm—this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day the “why” arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement.”
  2. #52
    “If I admit that my freedom has no meaning except in relation to its limited fate, then I must say that what counts is not the best living but the most living.”
  3. #53
    “This world in itself is not reasonable, that is all that can be said.”
  4. #54
    “If I admit that my freedom has no meaning except in relation to its limited fate, then I must say that what counts is not the best living but the most living.”
  5. #55
    “If I admit that my freedom has no meaning except in relation to its limited fate, then I must say that what counts is not the best living but the most living.”
  6. #56
    “If I admit that my freedom has no meaning except in relation to its limited fate, then I must say that what counts is not the best living but the most living.”
  7. #57
    “The only thought to liberate the mind is that which leaves it alone, certain of its limits and of its impending end.”
  8. #58
    “What, in fact, is the absurd man? He who, without negating it, does nothing for the eternal. Not that nostalgia is foreign to him. But he prefers his courage and his reasoning.”
  9. #59
    “What distinguishes modern sensibility from classical sensibility is that the latter thrives on moral problems and the former on metaphysical problems. ”
  10. #60
    “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.”
  11. #61
    “There is no sun without the shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing.”
  12. #62
    “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”
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