Top 50+ Albert Camus Quotes

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Albert Camus was born in Algeria, to parents known as French Pieds Noirs, on the 7th November 1913 and is a world-renowned philosopher, author and journalist. He was a French citizen who studied philosophy at the University of Algiers, after which he moved to Paris and during the German occupation, he became the editor of an underground newspaper for the French Resistance, called Combat.

Following the war, he became widely known around the world, travelling to give lectures. Equally passionate about politics, he opposed the Soviet Union, despite having a tendency to lean to the left politically. He believed in an integrated Europe and kept a neutral stance during the Algerian war.

His greatest achievement was receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957. He was only 44 years of age at the time, which made him the second-youngest person to win the award. Camus’s philosophical views helped fuel the rise of a branch of philosophy called absurdism, and potentially existentialism, but he has consistently rejected this idea.

Camus separated his work into cycles and the three main cycles of his literary career ranged from 1937 to 1958, including novels, plays and essays.

1. “If time frightens us, this is because it works out the problem and the solution comes afterwards.”

2. “Every ideology is contrary to human psychology.”

3. “The world evades us because it becomes itself again. That stage scenery masked by habit becomes what it is. It withdraws at a distance from us.”

4. “The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.”

5. “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.”

6. “Everything considered, a determined soul will always manage.”

7. “Your success and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them. But to be happy it is essential not to be too concerned with others. Consequently, there is no escape. Happy and judged, or absolved and wretched.”

8. “The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.”

9. “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”

10. “Time will prolong time, and life will serve life.”

11. “If the world were clear, art would not exist.”

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

13. “Having money is a way of being free of money.”

14. “The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown. He must dominate in his turn.”

15. “There is always a philosophy for lack of courage.”

16. “There always comes a time in history when the person who dares to say that 2+2=4 is punished by death. And the issue is not what reward or what punishment will be the outcome of that reasoning. The issue is simply whether or not 2+2=4.”

17. “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

18. “Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower.”

19. “Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience.”

20. “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.”

21. “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.”

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

23. “Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man.”

24. “Live to the point of tears.”

25. “You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.”

26. “Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?”

27. “The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.”

28. “One recognizes one’s course by discovering the paths that stray from it.”

29. “A loveless world is a dead world.”

30. “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.”

31. “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

32. “You can’t create experience, you undergo it.”

33. “He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.”

34. “I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist.”

35. “If I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers. I can sketch one by one all the aspects it is able to assume, all those likewise that have been attributed to it, this upbringing, this origin, this ardor or these silences, this nobility or this vileness. But aspects cannot be added up.”

36. “Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.”

37. “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”

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

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

40. “Believe me, there is no such thing as great suffering, great regret, great memory…Everything is forgotten, even great love.”

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

42. “There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.”

43. “Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”

44. “To have time was at once the most magnificent and the most dangerous of experiments. Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.”

45. “Fate is not in man but around him.”

46. “Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.”

47. “Peace is the only battle worth waging.”

48. “Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.”

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

50. “If absolute truth belongs to anyone in this world, it certainly does not belong to the man or party that claims to possess it.”

51. “Good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”

52. “Integrity has no need of rules.”

53. “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”

54. “A profound thought is in a constant state of becoming; it adopts the experience of a life and assumes its shape.”

55. “All men have a sweetness in their life. That is what helps them go on. It is towards that they turn when they feel too worn out.”

56. “You always get exaggerated notions about things you don’t know anything about.”

57. “What is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying.”

58. “When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him”

59. “People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”

60. “The absurd is lucid reason noting its limits.”

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