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100 Albert Camus Quotes on God, Suicide, Death, Love, Psychology, Happiness & More

Albert Camus born on November 7, 1913, was a famous French-Algerian philosopher, who popularised the philosophy of absurdism. Camus is most noted for his essay called “The Myth of Sisyphus” written in 1942.

The philosophical origins of Camus are attributed to the ancient Greek philosophy, Nietzsche, and the 17th-century moralists. Whereas, his existentialism philosophy finds its roots in the 19th, and early 20th-century philosophy, such as— Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers, and Heidegger.

Camus was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he earned in 1957 at the age of 44. His famous work includes — The Stranger (1942) and The Plague (1947), that are great exemplars of absurdism.

Life of Albert Camus:

Born in Algeria in an impoverished family, Camus’s life was no smooth journey. He lost his father in World War I and was cared for by his mother, who single-handedly raised him along with his brother, grandmother, and a paralysed uncle.

Though partially deaf and illiterate, Camus’s mother supported her family by working as a house-keeper. The ups and downs in the life of Camus could be the reason, why he started developing an interest in philosophy. But it only began when he had to give up his dreams and think of other possibilities.

Camus’s Absurdist Views:

According to Albert Camus’s absurdist viewpoint, all individuals should embrace the absurd condition of human existence. Whilst continuing to explore and search for meaning.

His ideas gave rise to the philosophy known as “absurdism”. Hence, Camus started writing and promoting the concept of absurdism. He described it as the human conflict between seeking value and meaning in life, and our inability to find it.

Why Albert Camus chose writing?

Albert Camus was a great scholar, who also excelled in sports and wanted to become a footballer. But his dreams were shattered when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, at the ripe age of 17.

During this tough period, Camus stayed with his uncle Gustave, who was a butcher by profession and had a great influence on him.

This was the time when Camus found solace in philosophy. He started developing a taste for it and was impressed by ancient Greek philosophers and Friedrich Nietzsche. Therefore, he turned to writing. And it became his only weapon to shield him from pain and loss, experienced in life.

Albert Camus on Suicide:

“On good days, if you trust life, life has to answer you.”

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

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

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

“Live to the point of tears.”

“The best are led to make greater demands upon themselves. As for those who succumb, they did not deserve to survive.”

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

Camus on God:

“We have no need of God to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men are enough, with our help.”

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

“God put self-pity by the side of despair like the cure by the side of the disease.”

“If God didn’t exist, we should not have to invent him. If God did exist, we should have to abolish him.”

“God is not necessary to create culpability, or to punish. Our fellow men are enough for that, helped by ourselves.”

“…. here, where the gaze is stopped everywhere, the whole earth is designed so that the face turns upward and the gaze implores. Oh! I hate this world where we are reduced to God.”

“We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible.”

Albert Camus On Happiness:

“A man wants to earn money in order to be happy, and his whole effort and the best of a life are devoted to the earning of that money. Happiness is forgotten; the means are taken for the end.”

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

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“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.”

“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”

“I enjoyed my own nature to the fullest, and we all know there lies happiness, although, to soothe one another mutually, we occasionally pretend to condemn such joys as selfishness.”

“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 on Absurdism:

“The absurd hero’s refusal to hope becomes his singular ability to live in the present with passion.”

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

“The absurd is lucid reason noting its limits.”

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

Albert Camus on being Normal:

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

“It is normal to give away a little of one’s life in order not to lose it all.”

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

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Albert Camus on Truth:

“What I believe to be true I must therefore preserve. What seems to me so obvious, even against me, I must support.”

“Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.”

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

“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth”

“Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.”

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

“The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”

Albert Camus on Existence:

“I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.”

“Here lives a free man. Nobody serves him.”

“There is no frontier between being and appearing.”

“We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.”

“When I look at my life and its secret colors, I feel like bursting into tears. Like that sky. It’s rain and sun both, noon and midnight. … I think of the lips I’ve kissed, and of the wretched child I was, and of the madness of life and the ambition that sometimes carries me away. I’m all those things at once. I’m sure there are times when you wouldn’t even recognize me. Extreme in misery, excessive in happiness—I can’t say it.”

Albert Camus on Love and Relationships:

“We only know of one duty, and that is to love.”

“A loveless world is a dead world.”

“There’s the risk of being loved…and that would keep me from being happy.”

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

“Nothing in the world is worth turning one’s back on what one loves.”

“It is necessary to fall in love – the better to provide an alibi for all the despair we are going to feel anyway.”

“I used to advertise my loyalty and I don’t believe there is a single person I loved that I didn’t eventually betray.”

“Whoever gives nothing, has nothing. The greatest misfortune is not to be unloved, but not to love.”

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Albert Camus on important lessons learned in life:

“I don’t know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I cannot know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it.”

“There is not love of life without despair about life.”

“To feel absolutely right is the beginning of the end.”

“We have to live and let live in order to create what we are.”

“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 on Human Psychology:

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

“We are all special cases.”

“And then came human beings; humans wanted to cling but there was nothing to cling to.”

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

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

“We rarely confide in those who are better than we. Most often, on the other hand, we confess to those who are like us and who share our weaknesses. Hence we don’t want to improve ourselves and be bettered, for we should first have to be judged in default. We merely wish to be pitied and encouraged in the course we have chosen.”

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

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

Albert Camus on Wasting Time:

“Whatever prevents you from doing your work has become your work.”

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

Check out: Loners & Relationships: What Happens when Two Loners Fall in Love

Albert Camus on Death:

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

“And with pain and joy, their hearts learned to hear that double lesson which leads to a happy death.”

“I know simply that the sky will last longer than I.”

“There is a life and there is a death, and there is beauty and melancholy in between.”

“I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.”

“Fear of dying justified a limitless attachment to what is alive in man”

“The world always says the same thing. And in that patient truth which proceeds from star to star is established a freedom that releases us from ourselves and from others, as in that other patient truth which proceeds from death to death.”

Albert Camus on Determination, Passion and Success:

“I’ve seen of enough of people who die for an idea. I don’t believe in heroism; I know it’s easy and I’ve learned it can be murderous. What interests me is living and dying for what one loves.”

“Everything considered a determined soul will always manage.”

“An achievement is a bondage. It obliges one to a higher achievement.”

“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.”

“Yes, I know what passion would fill me with all its power. Before, I was too young. I got in the way. Now I know that acting and loving and suffering is living, of course, but it’s only living insofar as you can be transparent and accept your fate, like the unique reflection of a rainbow of joys and passions which is the same for everyone’s.”

Albert Camus on Self Realisation:

“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”

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

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

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

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

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

Albert Camus on Rebellion:

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

“Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence.”

“I rebel; therefore I exist.”

“What is a rebel? A man who says no.”

Check out: To the Dreamer in Everybody

Albert Camus on Art, Artists and Writers:

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

“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”

“In a world that has ceased to believe in sin, the artist is responsible for the preaching.”

“A character is never the author who created him. It is quite likely, however, that an author may be all his characters simultaneously.”

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

“Just as there is a moment when the artist must stop, when the sculpture must be left as it is, the painting untouched—just as a determination not to know serves the maker more than all the resources of clairvoyance—so there must be a minimum of ignorance in order to perfect a life in happiness. Those
who lack such a thing must set about acquiring it: unintelligent must be earned.”

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

Albert Camus on Beauty

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

“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.”

“There is something divine in mindless beauty.”

“Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty.”

Albert Camus on Suffering:

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

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

When there is no hope, one must invent hope.

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This post was last modified on July 26, 2020 4:52 pm

Pragati Chauhan

I am a soulful woman who loves to conjure up my thoughts and write. I thoroughly enjoy creating art and expressing myself through words. I believe words have a certain kind of melody that can be understood by everybody.

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