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Albert Camus

1913-1960 ,  French writer, Nobel 1957
Albert CamusFrench novelist, essayist, and playwright, best known for such novels as L’Étranger (1942; The Stranger), La Peste (1947; The Plague), and La Chute (1956; The Fall) and for his work in leftist causes.
His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. Camus did not consider himself to be an existentialist despite usually being classified as a follower of it, He received the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?

This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.

If the world were clear, art would not exist.

At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.

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.

Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure.

Aujourd'hui maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.

first sentences of “The Stranger”

Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter.

Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower.

There is not love of life without despair about life.

Man cannot do without beauty, and this is what our era pretends to want to disregard.

Hungary conquered and in chains has done more for freedom and justice than any people for twenty years.

A novel is never anything but a philosophy put into images.

Without beauty, love, or danger it would be almost easy to live.

We have exiled beauty; the Greeks took up arms for her.

We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love — first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Absolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom. To be fruitful, the two ideas must find their limits in each other.

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

Every ideology is contrary to human psychology.

I rebel — therefore we exist.

The artist reconstructs the world to his plan.

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

Do not wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day.

Having money is a way of being free of money.

It takes time to live. Like any work of art, life needs to be thought about.

The opposite of an idealist is too often a man without love.

Fate is not in man but around him.

Idleness is only fatal to the mediocre.

Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.

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

Life is meaningless, but worth living, provided you recognize it's meaningless.

If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.

I know of only one duty, and that is to love.

You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.

It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

The need to be always right is the sign of a vulgar mind.

People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.

A man is more a man through the things he keeps to himself than through those he says.

Life should be lived to the point of tears.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

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

But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.

At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman.

Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth.

There is scarcely any passion without struggle.

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.

I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves me cold.


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