People who live in society have learnt how to see themselves, in mirrors, as they appear to their friends. I have no friends: is that why my flesh is so naked?
Nothing has changed and yet everything is different. I can't describe it; it's like the Nausea and yet it's just the opposite: at last an adventure happens to me and when I question myself I see that it happens that I am myself and that I am here; I am the one who splits the night, I am as happy as the hero of a novel.
But I can't see anything any more: however much I search the past I can only retrieve scraps of images and I am not sure what they represent, nor whether they are remembered or invented.
Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Such is the first principle of existentialism.
Wait a minute, there's a snag somewhere; something disagreeable. Why, now, should it be disagreeable?...Ah,I see; it's life without a break.
I tell you in truth: all men are Prophets or else God does not exist.
His blue cotton shirt stands out joyfully against a chocolate-coloured wall. That too brings on the Nausea. The Nausea is not inside me: I feel it OUT THERE in the wall, in the suspenders, everywhere around me. It makes itself one with the café, I am the one who is within IT.
Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.
Man is a useless passion. It is meaningless that we live and it is meaningless that we die.
I am sure that fifteen minutes would be enough to reach supreme self-contempt. No thank you, I want none of that.
I sank down on the bench, stupefied, stunned by this profusion of beings without origin: everywhere blossomings, hatchings out, my ears buzzed with existence, my very flesh throbbed and opened, abandoned itself to the universal burgeoning.
I marvel at these young people: drinking their coffee, they tell clear, plausible stories. If they are asked what they did yesterday, they aren't embarrassed: they bring you up to date in a few words. If I were in their place, I'd fall all over myself.
To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.
Our job as a writer is to represent the world and to bear witness to it.
Genius is not a gift, but the way a person invents in desperate circumstances.
I don't even bother looking for words. It flows in me, more or less quickly. I fix nothing, I let it go. Through the lack of attaching myself to words, my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time. They sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up: I forget them almost immediately.
What men have in common is not a "nature" but a condition, that is, an ensemble of limits and restrictions: the inevitability of death, the necessity of working for a living, of living in a world already inhabited by other men.
There is something I longed for more than all the rest – without realizing it properly. It wasn't love, heaven forbid, nor glory, nor wealth. It was... anyway, I had imagined that at certain moments my life could take on a rare and precious quality.
I exist because I think … and I can't stop myself from thinking. At this very moment–it's frightful–if I exist, it is because I am horrified at existing.
The Myth of Sisyphus, that it was not acceptable for the absurd person to commit suicide, but that to live, and live rebelliously, with my revolt, my freedom, and my passion, was the best way of both acknowledging and rejecting death.
A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution.
For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.
Those who wants to be loved, must want the freedom of the other, because love emerges from it, if I subject it, it becomes an object, and from an object I can not receive love.
I say a murder is abstract. You pull the trigger and after that you do not understand anything that happens.
My thought is me: that is why I cannot stop thinking. I exist because I think I cannot keep from thinking.
If [literature] should turn into pure propaganda or pure entertainment, society will slip back into the sty of the immediate -- which is to say, the memoryless existence of hymenoptera and gastropods. None of this is so important, to be sure. The world can get by nicely without literature. But without human beings it can get by better yet.
The aim of language...is to communicate...to impart to others the results one has obtained...As I talk, I reveal the situation...I reveal it to myself and to others in order to change it.
Thus it amounts to the same thing whether one gets drunk alone or is a leader of nations.
I want to leave, to go somewhere where I should be really in my place, where I would fit in . . . but my place is nowhere; I am unwanted.
With older people, it's quite different. They're reliable, they show you what to do, and there's solidity in their affection.
If a victory is told in detail, one can no longer distinguish it from a defeat.
Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.
Existentialism's first move is to make every man aware of what he is and to make the full responsibility of his existence rest on him.
One could only damage oneself through the harm one did to others. One could never get directly at oneself.
We are not on the side of history made. We were, as I have said, situated in such a way that every lived minute seemed to us like something irreducible.
You know, it's quite a job starting to love somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment, in the very beginning, when you have to jump across a precipice: if you think about it you don't do it.
I have no religion, but if I were to choose one, it would be that of Shariati's.
As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.
Once freedom lights its beacon in man's heart, the gods are powerless against him.
Tikėjimas, nors ir labai gilus, niekad nesti pilnutinis. Jį reikia be paliovos kurstyti ar bent jau stengtis negriauti.
We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.