There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night.
She was breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the weight of beings, the insane or static life, the long anguish of living or dying. After so many years running from fear, fleeing crazily, uselessly, she was finally coming to a halt. At the same time she seemed to be recovering her roots, and the sap rose anew in her body, which was no longer trembling. Pressing her whole belly against the parapet, leaning toward the wheeling sky, she was only waiting for her pounding heart to settle down, and for the silence to form in her. The last constellations of stars fell in bunches a little lower on the horizon of the desert, and stood motionless. Then, with an unbearable sweetness, the waters of the night began to fill her, submerging the cold, rising gradually to the center of her being, and overflowing wave upon wave to her moaning mouth. A moment later, the whole sky stretched out above her as she lay with her back against the cold earth.
Albert Camus, “The Adulterous Woman”
From Exile and the Kingdom
Live to the point of tears
My dear, I don’t know what to do today, help me decide. Should I cut myself open and pour my heart on these pages? Or should I sit here and do nothing, nobody’s asking anything of me afterall. Should I jump off the cliff that has my heart beating so and develop my wings on the way down? Or should I step back from the edge, and let the others deal with this thing called courage. Should I stare back at the existential abyss that haunts me so and try desperately to grab from it a sense of self? Or should I keep walking half-asleep, only half-looking at it every now and then in times in which I can’t help doing anything but? Should I kill myself or have a cup of coffee? Falsely yours.
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 understanding and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.
Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — that is the whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live.
Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.
The first progressive step for a mind overwhelmed by the strangeness of things is to realize that this feeling of strangeness is shared with all men and that human reality, in its entirety, suffers from the distance which separates it from the rest of the universe.
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?