A small tribute to Albert Camus

Thursday, 7th of November 2013: On this day, the eminent French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist and philosopher ALBERT CAMUS (07.11.1913 - 04.01.1960) would have been 100 years old. 

Here's a small collection of his quotes, as a humble tribute to him and his oeuvre:

“An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. "Can they be brought together?" This is a practical question. We must get down to it. "I despise intelligence" really means: "I cannot bear my doubts.''”

“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.” -from The Stranger

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.” 

“At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman.” 

“Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.” 

“When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune.” -from The First Man

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion." [The Minotaur]” -from The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

“I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” 

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” -from The Stranger

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.” 

“There is not love of life without despair about life.” -from The Stranger

“We are all special cases.” 

“Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.” 

“What is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying.” -from The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

“I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves me cold.” -from The Plague

“The most important thing you do everyday you live is deciding not to kill yourself.” 

“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.” 

“What I'm sure of is that you can't be happy without money. That's all. I don't like superficiality and I don't like romanticism. I like to be conscious. And what I've noticed is that there's a kind of spiritual snobbism in certain 'superior beings' who think that money isn't necessary for happiness. Which is stupid, which is false, and to a certain degree cowardly.... For a man who is well born, being happy is never complicated. It's enough to take up the general fate, only not with the will for renunciation like so many fake great men, but with the will for happiness. Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time. That's the only problem that's ever interested me.... To have money is to have time. That's my main point. Time can be bought. Everything can be bought. To be or to become rich is to have time to be happy, if you deserve it.... Everything for happiness, against the world which surrounds us with its violence and its stupidity.... All the cruelty of our civilization can be measured by this one axiom: happy nations have no history.”

“Poverty, first of all was never a misfortune for me; it was radiant with sunlight.. I owe it to my family, first of all, who lacked everything and who envied practically nothing.” 

“The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown.”

“A man is more a man through the things he keeps to himself than through those he says.” -from The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.” 

“At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.” 

“We are all born mad, some remain so.” 

“When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune.” from The First Man

“Sometimes at night I would sleep open-eyed underneath a sky dripping with stars. I was alive then.” 

“I know simply that the sky will last longer than I.” - from The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays


Discours d'Albert Camus pour la réception du prix Nobel de Littérature, donné à Stockholm le 10 décembre 1957. Le prix lui a été décerné pour « l'ensemble d'une œuvre qui met en lumière les problèmes se posant de nos jours à la conscience des hommes ».