139 Famous Albert Camus Quotes (About Love, Life, Happiness, Friendship…)

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Albert Camus was a French author, philosopher, and journalist. At the age of 44, he won the Nobel Prize Literature in 1957, making him the second-youngest to ever win the award.

Born in 1913, he was the son of Lucien and Catherine Camus. Camus’ father died in the Battle of Marne during the first World War and never got the chance to raise his son. As a young child, Camus loved soccer and swimming. When he was 17, Camus was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was sent to live with his uncle. This was when Camus started developing an interest in philosophy.

During the Second World War, Camus lived in Paris but was forced to move to the French Alps because of his tuberculosis. In 1943, he returned to Paris, where he met Jean-Paul Sartre. Camus then joined the underground resistance movement against the Germans. He worked as an editor and journalist of the banned newspaper Combat. After the war, Camus wrote the novel, The Rebel.

Camus was married twice but was known to have numerous affairs. Deeply affected by his extramarital relationships, Camus’s wife had a mental breakdown in the early 1950s. Feeling extreme guilt, Camus withdrew from public life for a time.

In 1960, Camus died in a car accident as he was on his way to vacation. In the wreckage, the manuscript of his autobiography, The First Man, was recovered. Throughout his life, Camus wrote five novels (two of which were published posthumously), one short-story collection, six plays, and numerous non-fiction works.

Embrace the ordinary life as you read several of the most notable Albert Camus quotes and sayings that explores his views on love, life, happiness, friendship, death, art, and many more.

Albert Camus Quotes About Love

1. “It is necessary to fall in love… if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway.”

2. “There is no love of life without despair of life.”

3. “We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love – first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.”

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

"I know of only one duty, and that is to love." #albertcamus #quotes #love

5. “The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves.”

6. “To abandon oneself to principles is really to die – and to die for an impossible love which is the contrary of love.”

7. “Friendship often ends in love, but love in friendship – never.”

8. “Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?”

9. “Man is an idea, and a precious small idea once he turns his back on love.”

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

11. “I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.”

Albert Camus Quotes About Life

1. “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”

2. “As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.”

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

"It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all." #albertcamus #quotes #life

4. “Working conditions for me have always been those of the monastic life: solitude and frugality. Except for frugality, they are contrary to my nature, so much so that work is a violence I do to myself.”

5. “Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.”

6. “Basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all, there is only absurdity, and more absurdity. And maybe that’s what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity.”

7. “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.”

8. “We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die.”

9. “Lying is not only saying what isn’t true. It is also, in fact especially, saying more than is true and, in the case of the human heart, saying more than one feels. We all do it, every day, to make life simpler.”

10. “Every artist preserves deep within him a single source from which, throughout his lifetime, he draws what he is, and what he says. When the source dries up, the work withers and crumbles.”

11. “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 Quotes About Happiness

1. “Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness.”

2. “Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.”

"Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them." #albertcamus #quotes #happiness

3. “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?”

4. “Heroism is accessible. Happiness is more difficult.”

5. “To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.”

Albert Camus Quotes About Friendship

1. “Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood – never.”

2. “Don’t believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.”

3. “How can sincerity be a condition of friendship? A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.”

4. “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.”

"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." #albertcamus #quotes #friendship

Albert Camus Quotes About Art

1. “The artist forges himself to the others, midway between the beauty he cannot do without and the community he cannot tear himself away from. That is why true artists scorn nothing: they are obliged to understand rather than to judge.”

2. “Without freedom, no art art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.”

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

"A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession." #albertcamus #quotes #art

4. “A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”

5. “Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.”

6. “It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.”

Albert Camus Quotes About Death

1. “In order to speak about all and to all, one has to speak of what all know and of the reality common to us all. The sea, rains, necessity, desire, the struggle against death… these are things that unite us all.”

2. “We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead.”

3. “After all, every murderer when he kills runs the risk of the most dreadful of deaths, whereas those who kill him risk nothing except promotion.”

4. “I am not made for politics because I am incapable of wanting or accepting the death of the adversary.”

5. “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.”

6. “Men are convinced of your arguments, your sincerity, and the seriousness of your efforts only by your death.”

7. “There will be no lasting peace either in the heart of individuals or in social customs until death is outlawed.”

8. “No cause justifies the deaths of innocent people.”

"No cause justifies the deaths of innocent people." #albertcamus #quotes #death

9. “There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.”

More Albert Camus Quotes and Sayings

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

2. “Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and that is its whole secret.”

3. “What the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians.”

4. “We are all special cases.”

5. “Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.”

6. “There is the good and the bad, the great and the low, the just and the unjust. I swear to you that all that will never change.”

7. “Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”

8. “The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.”

9. “A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.”

"A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing." #albertcamus #quotes #truth

10. “The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone.”

11. “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”

12. “Culture: the cry of men in face of their destiny.”

13. “The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.”

14. “How hard, how bitter it is to become a man!”

15. “Don’t wait for the last judgment – it takes place every day.”

16. “Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question.”

17. “Man wants to live, but it is useless to hope that this desire will dictate all his actions.”

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

19. “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.”

"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." #albertcamus #quotes #wonder #lives

20. “An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.”

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

22. “It’s a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.”

23. “There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.”

24. “It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.”

25. “The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm.”

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

27. “The absurd depends as much on man as on the world. For the moment, it is all that links them together.”

28. “One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.”

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

"Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is." #albertcamus #quotes #man #creature

30. “Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.”

31. “Note, besides, that it is no more immoral to directly rob citizens than to slip indirect taxes into the price of goods that they cannot do without.”

32. “The world is never quiet, even its silence eternally resounds with the same notes, in vibrations which escape our ears. As for those that we perceive, they carry sounds to us, occasionally a chord, never a melody.”

33. “Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.”

34. “In order to exist, man must rebel, but rebellion must respect the limits that it discovers in itself – limits where minds meet, and in meeting, begin to exist.”

35. “You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.”

36. “To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.”

37. “Those who weep for the happy periods which they encounter in history acknowledge what they want not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.”

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

39. “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.”

"Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear." #albertcamus #quotes #fear

40. “To be famous, in fact, one has only to kill one’s landlady.”

41. “I was born poor and without religion, under a happy sky, feeling harmony, not hostility, in nature. I began not by feeling torn, but in plenitude.”

42. “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”

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

44. “The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”

45. “To correct a natural indifference I was placed half-way between misery and the sun. Misery kept me from believing that all was well under the sun, and the sun taught me that history wasn’t everything.”

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

47. “You have to be very rich or very poor to live without a trade.”

48. “Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.”

49. “The society based on production is only productive, not creative.”

"The society based on production is only productive, not creative." #albertcamus #quotes #creative

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

51. “No matter what cause one defends, it will suffer permanent disgrace if one resorts to blind attacks on crowds of innocent people.”

52. “Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.”

53. “Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful.”

54. “We call first truths those we discover after all the others.”

55. “Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.”

56. “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.”

57. “Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”

58. “Men are never really willing to die except for the sake of freedom: therefore they do not believe in dying completely.”

59. “Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature.”

"Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature." #albertcamus #quotes #nature #law

60. “Those who weep for the happy periods which they encounter in history acknowledge what they want; not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.”

61. “After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.”

62. “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

63. “We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.”

64. “Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.”

65. “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.”

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

67. “All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.”

68. “Integrity has no need of rules.”

69. “Rebellion cannot exist without the feeling that somewhere, in some way, you are justified.”

"Rebellion cannot exist without the feeling that somewhere, in some way, you are justified." #albertcamus #quotes #rebellion

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

71. “The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.”

72. “Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.”

73. “To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no-one in his right mind will believe this today.”

74. “What is a rebel? A man who says no.”

75. “Only a philosophy of eternity, in the world today, could justify non-violence.”

76. “In order to exist just once in the world, it is necessary never again to exist.”

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

78. “The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.”

79. “The role of the intellectual cannot be to excuse the violence of one side and condemn that of the other.”

"The role of the intellectual cannot be to excuse the violence of one side and condemn that of the other." #albertcamus #quotes #violence

80. “A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.”

81. “Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face.”

82. “Truth is mysterious, elusive, always to be conquered. Liberty is dangerous, as hard to live with as it is elating. We must march toward these two goals, painfully but resolutely, certain in advance of our failings on so long a road.”

83. “By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.”

84. “Charm is a way of getting the answer ‘Yes’ without asking a clear question.”

85. “To know oneself, one should assert oneself.”

86. “Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic.”

87. “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.”

88. “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.”

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

"We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible." #albertcamus #quotes #god

90. “Methods of thought which claim to give the lead to our world in the name of revolution have become, in reality, ideologies of consent and not of rebellion.”

91. “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.”

92. “Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.”

93. “Real nobility is based on scorn, courage, and profound indifference.”

If you’d like to read some of the best works of Albert Camus, we recommend that you start with The Myth of Sisyphus.