Wisdom Lives in Words

Memorable Quotes by Albert Camus

To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.
Albert Camus
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All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.
Albert Camus
I grew up with the sea, and poverty for me was sumptuous; then I lost the sea and found all luxuries gray and poverty unbearable.
Albert Camus
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant's revolving door.
Albert Camus
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.
Albert Camus
Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood - never.
Albert Camus
One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.
Albert Camus
To govern means to pillage, as everyone knows.
Albert Camus
We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives... inside ourselves.
Albert Camus
To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no-one in his right mind will believe this today.
Albert Camus
When you have really exhausted an experience you always reverence and love it.
Albert Camus
Only a philosophy of eternity, in the world today, could justify non-violence.
Albert Camus
Every artist preserves deep within him a single source from which, throughout his lifetime, he draws what he is, and what he says. When the source dries up, the work withers and crumbles.
Albert Camus
Rebellion cannot exist without the feeling that somewhere, in some way, you are justified.
Albert Camus
Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.
Albert Camus
The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.
Albert Camus
What is a rebel? A man who says no: but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation.
Albert Camus
The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm.
Albert Camus
There will be no lasting peace either in the heart of individuals or in social customs until death is outlawed.
Albert Camus
After all, every murderer when he kills runs the risk of the most dreadful of deaths, whereas those who kill him risk nothing except promotion.
Albert Camus
How can sincerity be a condition of friendship? A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.
Albert Camus
The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves.
Albert Camus
You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
Albert Camus
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus
Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.
Albert Camus
A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.
Albert Camus
I have never been able to renounce the light, the pleasure of being, and the freedom in which I grew up.
Albert Camus
Heroism is accessible. Happiness is more difficult.
Albert Camus
In order to exist, man must rebel, but rebellion must respect the limits that it discovers in itself - limits where minds meet, and in meeting, begin to exist.
Albert Camus
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
Albert Camus
No cause justifies the deaths of innocent people.
Albert Camus
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
Albert Camus
How hard, how bitter it is to become a man!
Albert Camus
Man is an idea, and a precious small idea once he turns his back on love.
Albert Camus
The artist forges himself to the others, midway between the beauty he cannot do without and the community he cannot tear himself away from. That is why true artists scorn nothing: they are obliged to understand rather than to judge.
Albert Camus
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
Albert Camus
No matter what cause one defends, it will suffer permanent disgrace if one resorts to blind attacks on crowds of innocent people.
Albert Camus
Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.
Albert Camus
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.
Albert Camus
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.
Albert Camus
We call first truths those we discover after all the others.
Albert Camus
The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
Albert Camus
We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die.
Albert Camus
A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.
Albert Camus
Truth is mysterious, elusive, always to be conquered. Liberty is dangerous, as hard to live with as it is elating. We must march toward these two goals, painfully but resolutely, certain in advance of our failings on so long a road.
Albert Camus
The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.
Albert Camus
The absurd depends as much on man as on the world. For the moment, it is all that links them together.
Albert Camus
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
Albert Camus
What the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians.
Albert Camus
We are all special cases.
Albert Camus
To be happy we must not be too concerned with others.
Albert Camus
To correct a natural indifference I was placed half-way between misery and the sun. Misery kept me from believing that all was well under the sun, and the sun taught me that history wasn't everything.
Albert Camus
Men are convinced of your arguments, your sincerity, and the seriousness of your efforts only by your death.
Albert Camus
Charm is a way of getting the answer 'Yes' without asking a clear question.
Albert Camus
Every time somebody speaks of my honesty, there is someone who quivers inside me.
Albert Camus
The role of the intellectual cannot be to excuse the violence of one side and condemn that of the other.
Albert Camus
Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.
Albert Camus
The only really committed artist is he who, without refusing to take part in the combat, at least refuses to join the regular armies and remains a freelance.
Albert Camus
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead.
Albert Camus
It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all.
Albert Camus
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.
Albert Camus
Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature.
Albert Camus
Conscious of not being able to separate myself from my time, I have decided to become part of it.
Albert Camus
Man wants to live, but it is useless to hope that this desire will dictate all his actions.
Albert Camus
There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.
Albert Camus
To abandon oneself to principles is really to die - and to die for an impossible love which is the contrary of love.
Albert Camus
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
Albert Camus
The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
Albert Camus
For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.
Albert Camus
Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
Albert Camus
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.
Albert Camus
Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.
Albert Camus
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
Albert Camus
Those who weep for the happy periods which they encounter in history acknowledge what they want; not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.
Albert Camus
Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and that is its whole secret.
Albert Camus
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
Albert Camus
Basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all, there is only absurdity, and more absurdity. And maybe that's what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity.
Albert Camus
The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.
Albert Camus
It is necessary to fall in love... if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway.
Albert Camus
In order to exist just once in the world, it is necessary never again to exist.
Albert Camus
A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.
Albert Camus
Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness.
Albert Camus
Note, besides, that it is no more immoral to directly rob citizens than to slip indirect taxes into the price of goods that they cannot do without.
Albert Camus
We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.
Albert Camus
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
Albert Camus
I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.
Albert Camus
The world is never quiet, even its silence eternally resounds with the same notes, in vibrations which escape our ears. As for those that we perceive, they carry sounds to us, occasionally a chord, never a melody.
Albert Camus
Friendship often ends in love, but love in friendship - never.
Albert Camus
Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.
Albert Camus
Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.
Albert Camus
Culture: the cry of men in face of their destiny.
Albert Camus
Don't wait for the last judgment - it takes place every day.
Albert Camus
Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?
Albert Camus
It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.
Albert Camus
It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.
Albert Camus
Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.
Albert Camus
Integrity has no need of rules.
Albert Camus
I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.
Albert Camus
You have to be very rich or very poor to live without a trade.
Albert Camus
Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.
Albert Camus
Lying is not only saying what isn't true. It is also, in fact especially, saying more than is true and, in the case of the human heart, saying more than one feels. We all do it, every day, to make life simpler.
Albert Camus
Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful.
Albert Camus
For 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.
Albert Camus
Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.
Albert Camus
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.
Albert Camus
The society based on production is only productive, not creative.
Albert Camus
We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love - first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.
Albert Camus
Real nobility is based on scorn, courage, and profound indifference.
Albert Camus
Working conditions for me have always been those of the monastic life: solitude and frugality. Except for frugality, they are contrary to my nature, so much so that work is a violence I do to myself.
Albert Camus
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
Albert Camus
Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.
Albert Camus
To cut short the question of the law of retaliation, we must note that even in its primitive form it can operate only between two individuals of whom one is absolutely innocent, and the other absolutely guilty. The victim, to be sure, is innocent. But can the society that is supposed to represent the victim lay claim to innocence?
Albert Camus
The day when I am no more than a writer I shall cease to be a writer.
Albert Camus
The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone.
Albert Camus
There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.
Albert Camus
Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic.
Albert Camus
In order to speak about all and to all, one has to speak of what all know and of the reality common to us all. The sea, rains, necessity, desire, the struggle against death... these are things that unite us all.
Albert Camus
To be famous, in fact, one has only to kill one's landlady.
Albert Camus
After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.
Albert Camus
We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible.
Albert Camus
Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.
Albert Camus
I was born poor and without religion, under a happy sky, feeling harmony, not hostility, in nature. I began not by feeling torn, but in plenitude.
Albert Camus
There is the good and the bad, the great and the low, the just and the unjust. I swear to you that all that will never change.
Albert Camus
I am not made for politics because I am incapable of wanting or accepting the death of the adversary.
Albert Camus
Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face.
Albert Camus
Methods of thought which claim to give the lead to our world in the name of revolution have become, in reality, ideologies of consent and not of rebellion.
Albert Camus
Men are never really willing to die except for the sake of freedom: therefore they do not believe in dying completely.
Albert Camus
Violence is both unavoidable and unjustifiable.
Albert Camus
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
Albert Camus
Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
Albert Camus
A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
Albert Camus
Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.
Albert Camus
As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.
Albert Camus
Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.
Albert Camus
He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.
Albert Camus
There is no love of life without despair of life.
Albert Camus
Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.
Albert Camus
In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.
Albert Camus
I know of only one duty, and that is to love.
Albert Camus
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
Albert Camus
All that I know most surely about morality and obligations I owe to football.
Albert Camus
Every man, and for stronger reasons, every artist, wants to be recognized. So do I.
Albert Camus
Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.
Albert Camus
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Albert Camus
Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.
Albert Camus
To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
Albert Camus
I draw from the Absurd three consequences: my revolt, my liberty, my passion.
Albert Camus