Quotes by Albert Camus

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Albert Camus (pronounced Kam-oo, IPA: ka.m) (November 7, 1913 January 4, 1960) was a French author and philosopher and one of the principal luminaries (with Jean-Paul Sartre) of existentialism. Camus was the second youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature (after Rudyard Kipling) when he received the award in 1957. He is also the shortest-lived of any literature laureate to date, having died in a car crash 3 years after receiving the award. more

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Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow; Don't walk behind me, I may not lead; Walk beside me, and just be my friend.

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
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.
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a person and life they lead.
Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.
Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.
To be happy we must not be too concerned with others.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.
We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves.
In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Integrity has no need of rules.
Alas after a certain age, every man is responsible for his own face.
What is a rebel? A man who says no.
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.
The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves.
Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.
Instead of killing and dying in order to produce the being that we are not, we have to live and let live in order to create what we are.
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.
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.
The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead.
Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.
There's no need to hang about waiting for the last judgment. It takes place every day.
That must be wonderful; I have no idea of what it means.
If there is sin against life, it consists in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
To live is to hurt others, and through others, to hurt oneself. Cruel earth! How can we manage not to touch anything? To find what ultimate exile?
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.
It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all.
You can't create experience. You must undergo it.
To those who despair of everything reason cannot provide a faith, but only passion, and in this case it must be the same passion that lay at the root of the despair, namely humiliation and hatred.
Accept life, take it as it is? Stupid. The means of doing otherwise? Far from our having to take it, it is life that possesses us and on occasion shuts our mouths.
If, after all, men cannot always make history have meaning, they can always act so that their own lives have one.
Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.
The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.
It is a well-known fact that we always recognize our homeland when we are about to lose it.
Politics and the fate of mankind are shaped by men without ideals and without greatness. Men who have greatness within them don't go in for politics.
The society based on production is only productive, not creative.
Revolution, in order to be creative, cannot do without either a moral or metaphysical rule to balance the insanity of history.
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest -- whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories -- comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.
When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him; and you are torn by the thought of the unhappiness and night you cast, by the mere fact of living, in the hearts you encounter.
The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
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.
The world in which we were called to exist was an absurd world, and there was no other in which we could take refuge.
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
Human relationships always help us to carry on because they always presuppose further developments, a future --and also because we live as if our only task was precisely to have relationships with other people.
Every revolutionary ends up by becoming either an oppressor or a heretic.
Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful.
Children will still die unjustly even in a perfect society. Even by his greatest effort, man can only propose to diminish, arithmetically, the sufferings of the world.
Whoever today speaks of human existence in terms of power, efficiency, and historical tasks is an actual or potential assassin.
In order to exist just once in the world, it is necessary never again to exist.
Men are convinced of your arguments, your sincerity, and the seriousness of your efforts only by your death.
There will be no lasting peace either in the heart of individuals or in social customs until death is outlawed.
A novel is never anything, but a philosophy put into images.
To write is to become disinterested. There is a certain renunciation in art.
Real nobility is based on scorn, courage, and profound indifference.
The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.
Our civilization survives in the complacency of cowardly or malignant minds -- a sacrifice to the vanity of aging adolescents. In 1953, excess is always a comfort, and sometimes a career.
We call first truths those we discover after all the others.

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