There is not love of life without despair about life.
Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure.
I used to advertise my loyalty and I don't believe there is a single person I loved that I didn't eventually betray.
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.
I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.
And, on a wide view, I could see that it makes little difference whether one dies at the age of thirty or threescore and ten-since, in either case, other men and women will continue living, the world will go on as before. Also, whether I died now or forty years hence, this business of dying had to be got through, inevitably. Still, somehow this line of thought wasn't as consoling as it should have been; the idea of all those years of life in hand was a galling reminder!
A single sentence will suffice for modern man. He fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.
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.
But it's not easy, because friendship is absent-minded or at least powerless. It cannot achieve what it wants. Perhaps, after all, it doesn't want strongly enough. Perhaps we do not love life enough.
The truth is that every intelligent man, as you know, dreams of being a gangster and of ruling over society by force alone. As it is not so easy as the detective novels might lead one to believe, one generally relies on politics and joins the cruelest party.What does it matter, after all, if by humiliating one's mind one succeeds in dominating every one? I discovered in myself sweet dreams of oppression.
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.
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.
Believe me, for certain men at least, not taking what one doesn't desire is the hardest thing in 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.
But too many people now climb onto the cross merely to be seen from a greater distance, even if they have to trample somewhat on the one who has been there so long.
When one has no character, one HAS to apply a method. Here it did wonders incontrovertibly, and I am living on the site of one of the greatest crimes in human history.
I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God.
I explained to him, however, that my nature was such that my physical needs often got in the way of my feelings.
Empires and churches are born under the sun of death.
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.
I longed to be forgotten in order to be able to complain to myself.
And indeed it could be said that once the faintest stirring of hope became possible, the dominion of plague was ended.
Big tears of frustration and exhaustion were streaming down his cheeks. But because of all the wrinkles, they weren't dripping off. They spread out and ran together again, leaving a watery film over his ruined face.
I felt as I hadn't felt for ages. I had a foolish desire to burst into tears. for the first time I'd realized how all these people loathed me.
False judges are held up in the world's admiration and I alone know the true ones.
We are all exceptional cases. We all want to appeal against something! Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself.
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
If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.
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?
He had been bored, that's all, bored like most people. Hence he had made himself out of whole cloth a life full of complications and drama. Something must happen - and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death. Hurray then for funerals!
More Albert Camus Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - World - Life - Death & Dying - Liberty & Freedom - God - Happiness - People - Mind - Love - Work & Career - Rebellion - Art - Thought & Thinking - Reasoning - Facts - Society & Civilization - Truth - Fate & Destiny - View All Albert Camus Quotations
More Albert Camus Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Fall
- The Plague
- The Stranger
Confucius - Aristotle - Albert Camus - Thomas Carlyle - Swami Sivananda - Protagoras - Mohammad Khatami - John Dewey - Epicurus - Avicenna