Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)
does not tolerate reason
the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these
hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of these trees
at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we
had clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise
. . . that denseness and that strangeness of the world is
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.
In default of inexhaustible
happiness, eternal suffering would at least give us a destiny. But we do not
even have that consolation, and our worst agonies come to an end one day.
Ah, mon cher, for
anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is
The absurd enlightens
me on this point: there is no future.
Sisyphus is the
happiest man alive.
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.
If there is a sin
against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping
for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
From the moment
absurdity is recognized, it becomes a passion, the most harrowing of all. But
whether or not one can live with one's passions, whether or not one can accept
their law, which is to burn the heart they simultaneously exalt--that is the
It was previously
a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived.
It now becomes clear, on the contrary, that it will be lived all the better
if it has no meaning.
There is no noble
love but that which recognizes itself as both short-lived and exceptional.
In a universe suddenly
divested of illusion and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is
without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope
of a promised land.
Every act of rebellion
expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
At any street corner
the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
The absurd is born
of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of
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. To feel it
so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I'd been happy, and
that I was happy still... The Stranger
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science