How could sincerity be a condition of friendship? A liking for the truth at all costs is a passion that spares nothing and that nothing can withstand.
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 one of knowing whether two and two do make four
I had been right I was still right I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well lived it another. I had done this and I hadn t done that. I hadn t done this thing and I had done another. And so?
So the thing that bothered me most was that the condemned man had to hope the machine would work the first time.
I have a very old and very faithful attachment for dogs. I like them because they always forgive.
But what does it mean, the plague? It's life, that's all.
I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God.
Some other memories of the funeral have stuck in my mind. The old boy's face, for instance, when he caught up with us for the last time, just outside the village. His eyes were streaming with tears, of exhaustion or distress, or both together. But because of the wrinkles they couldn't flow down. They spread out, crisscrossed, and formed a smooth gloss on the old, worn face.
I like these people swarming on the sidewalks, wedged into a little space of houses and canals, hemmed in by fogs, cold lands, and the sea streaming like a wet wash. I like them, for they are double. They are here and elsewhere.
But, you know, I feel more fellowship with the defeated than with saints. Heroism and sanctity don't really appeal to me, I imagine. What interests me is being a man.
I have no idea what's awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.
There is not love of life without despair about life.
I longed to be forgotten in order to be able to complain to myself.
For who would dare to assert that eternal happiness can compensate for a single moment's human suffering
I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.
There was the same dazzling red glare. The sea gasped for air with each shallow, stifled wave that broke on the sand. ...with every blade of light that flashed off the sand, from a bleached shell or a peice of broken glass, my jaws tightened. I walked for a long time.
I used to advertise my loyalty and I don't believe there is a single person I loved that I didn't eventually betray.
I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves me cold.
I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.
What really counted was the possibility of escape, a leap of freedom, out of the implacable ritual, a wild run for it that would give whatever chance for hope there was. Of course, hope meant being cut down on some street corner, as you ran like mad, by a random bullet. But when I really thought it through, nothing was going to allow me such a luxury. Everything was against it; I would just be caught up in the machinery again.
My dear friend, we mustn't give them even the slightest excuse to judge us! Otherwise, we end up in pieces.
In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences. A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore 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, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.
I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.
No excuses ever, for anyone; that is my principle at the outset. I deny the good intention, the respectable mistake, the indiscretion, the extenuating circumstance. With me there is no giving of absolution or blessing.
It is in the thick of calamity that one gets hardened to the truth - in other words, to silence.
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: the smells of summer, the part of town I loved, a certain evening sky, Marie's dresses and the way she laughed.
One plays at being immortal and after a few weeks one doesn't even know whether or not one can hang on till the next day.
The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.
I would rather not have upset him, but I couldn't see any reason to change my life. Looking back on it, I wasn't unhappy. When I was a student, I had lots of ambitions like that. But when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered.
The only deep emotion I occasionally felt in these affairs was gratitude, when all was going well and I was left, not only peace, but freedom to come and go--never kinder and gayer with one woman than when I had just left another's bed, as if I extended to all others the debt I had just contracted toward one of them.
More Albert Camus Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - World - Life - Death & Dying - Liberty & Freedom - Mind - God - Love - Happiness - People - Thought & Thinking - Work & Career - Reasoning - Art - Rebellion - Fate & Destiny - Society & Civilization - Facts - Truth - View All Albert Camus Quotations
More Albert Camus Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Fall
- The Plague
- The Stranger
Heraclitus - Bertrand Russell - Thomas Carlyle - Swami Sivananda - Roger Bacon - Robert M. Pirsig - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - Philo - Martin Heidegger - Leo Strauss