He has forgotten how to hope. This hell of the present is his Kingdom at last. All problems recover their sharp edge. Abstract evidence retreats before the poetry of forms and colors. Spiritual conflicts become embodied and return to the abject and magnificent shelter of man's heart. None of them is settled. But all are transfigured.

Albert Camus

Albert Camus

Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: French

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No doubt, our love persisted, but in practice it served nothing; it was an inert mass within us, sterile as crime of a life sentence. It had declined on a patience that led nowhere, a dogged expectation.

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

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.

Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.

Something must happen—and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death. Hurray then for funerals!

There are means that cannot be excused. And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don't want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive.

The world is beautiful, and outside it there is no salvation.

Once or twice I had a mind to assure him that I was just like everybody else; quite an ordinary person. But really that would have served no great purpose, and I let it go - out of laziness as much as anything else.

Comfortable optimism surely seems like a bad joke in today's world.

No—but what does that really mean? I'm fumbling in the dark, struggling to make something out. But I've long ceased finding that original.

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.

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.

Hostile to the past, impatient of the present, and cheated of the future, we were much like those whom men's justice, or hatred, forces to live behind prison bars.

The words that reverberate for us at the confines of this long adventure of rebellion are not formulas for optimism, for which we have no possible use in the extremities of our unhappiness, but words of courage and intelligence which, on the shores of the eternal seas, even have the qualities of virtue.