(French philosopher, author, and journalist) 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.
Existence is illusory and it is eternal.
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.
Every time somebody speaks of my honesty, there is someone who quivers inside me.
What made me run away was doubtless not so much the fear of settling down, but of settling down permanently in something ugly.
I am not made for politics because I am incapable of wanting or accepting the death of the adversary.
The society based on production is only productive, not creative.
One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.
Friendship often ends in love, but love in friendship – never.
There are more things to admire in men then to despise.
How hard, how bitter it is to become a man!
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
Today we are always as ready to judge as we are to fornicate.
I’ve never really had much of an imagination. But still I would try to picture the exact moment when the beating of my heart would no longer be going on inside my head.
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable.
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.
It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.
To govern means to pillage, as everyone knows.
If there were a party of those who aren’t sure they’re right, I’d belong to it.
Life is a sum of all your choices. So, what are you doing today?
Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love.
Conscious of not being able to separate myself from my time, I have decided to become part of it.
I love life – that’s my real weakness. I love it so much that I am incapable of imagining what is not life.
It is necessary to fall in love… if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway.
Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness.
Heroism is accessible. Happiness is more difficult.
The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown.
Sometimes at night I would sleep open-eyed underneath a sky dripping with stars. I was alive then.
A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future.
Those who weep for the happy periods which they encounter in history acknowledge what they want; not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.
Human relationships always help us to carry on because they always presuppose further developments, a future – and also because we live as if our only task was precisely to have relationships with other people.
Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
The role of the intellectual cannot be to excuse the violence of one side and condemn that of the other.
Style, like sheer silk underwear, sometimes hides eczema.
There are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. The boundary between them is not clearly defined.
Stupidity always carries doggedly on.
It is normal to give away a little of one’s life in order not to lose it all. Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood – never.
If absolute truth belongs to anyone in this world, it certainly does not belong to the man or party that claims to possess it.
Yes, be patient with me. My heart is heavy.
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.
Peace is the only battle worth waging.
I have never been able to renounce the light, the pleasure of being, and the freedom in which I grew up.
The day when I am no more than a writer I shall cease to be a writer.
The world is never quiet, even its silence eternally resounds with the same notes, in vibrations that escape our ears.
Believe me, religions are on the wrong track the moment they moralize and fulminate commandments.
One always has exaggerated ideas about what one doesn’t know.
Men are convinced of your arguments, your sincerity, and the seriousness of your efforts only by your death.
Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?