63 of the Best Camus Quotes

Albert Camus was born in Algeria in 1913. Camus is famous for being a novelist, playwright, and an essayist. In 1937, Camus first published a book of essays called L’Envers et l’endroit (The Wrong Side and the Right Side). This book of essays describes his early years of life and features portraits of his paralyzed uncle, maternal grandmother and his mother.

His second collection of essays called Noces’ (Nuptials) was published in 1938 and is about how the natural beauty of the Algerian countryside can be enjoyed by even the very poor and is a form of wealth.

Albert Camus wrote a series of novels such as ‘The Stranger (1942), The Plague (1947), ‘The Rebel (1951), The Fall (1956) , and a collection of short stories, Exile and the Kingdom (1957). These are the works he is most famous for, particularly The Stranger. Camus won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1957 at the age of 44. Unfortunately, three years later, Camus was killed in a car accident in France in 1960.

Camus Quotes

  1. “How unbearable, for women, is the tenderness which a man can give them without love. For men, how bittersweet this is.” – Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942
  2. “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus
  3. “Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  4. “I can’t say I really know him, but one’s got to help a neighbor, hasn’t one?” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  5. “This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  6. “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  7. “It would take patience to wait for the Last Judgement. But that’s it, we’re in a hurry.” – Albert Camus, The Fall
  8. “Life is a sum of all your choices. So, what are you doing today?” – Albert Camus
  9. “If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  10. “Rats died in the street; men in their homes. And newspapers are concerned only with the street.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  11. “Great feelings take with them their own universe.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  12. “Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  13. “What we call basic truths are simply the ones we discovered after all the others.” – Albert Camus, The Fall
  14. “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.” – Albert Camus
  15. “Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  16. “They fancied themselves free, and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  17. “At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  18. “If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  19. “In order to reveal to all eyes what he was made of, I wanted to break open the handsome wax-figure I presented everywhere.” – Albert Camus, The Fall
  20. “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” – Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion, and Death: Essays
  21. “Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  22. “From now on it can be said that plague was the concern of all of us.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  23. “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  24. “I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  25. “The misery and greatness of this world: it offers no truths, but only objects for love. Absurdity is king, but love saves us from it.” – Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942
  26. “Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.” – Albert Camus
  27. “Become so very free that your whole existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  28. “You can’t understand. You’re using the language of reason, not of the heart; you live in a world of abstractions.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  29. “If I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  30. “I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  31. “Despite men’s suffering, despite the blood and wrath, despite the dead who can never be replaced, the unjust wounds, and the wild bullets, we must utter, not words of regret, but words of hope, of the dreadful hope of men isolated with their fate.” – Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays
  32. “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” – Albert Camus, Notebooks, 1942-1951
  33. “The final conclusion of the absurdist protest is, in fact, the rejection of suicide and persistence in that hopeless encounter between human questioning and the silence of the universe.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  34. “Death means nothing to men like me. It’s the event that proves them right.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  35. The only conception of freedom I can have is that of the prisoner or the individual in the midst of the State. The only one I know is freedom of thought and action.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  36. “It is better to burn than to disappear.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  37. “And despite the clamors and the violence, we tried to preserve in our hearts the memory of a happy sea, of a remembered hill, the smile of a beloved face.” – Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays
  38. “Life is meaningless, but worth living, provided you recognize it’s meaningless.” – Albert Camus
  39. “There are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. The boundary between them is not clearly defined” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  40. “There comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two do make four is punished with death.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  41. “There can be no question of holding forth on ethics. I have seen people behave badly with great morality and I note every day that integrity has no need of rules.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  42. “Mother used to say that however miserable one is, there’s always something to be thankful for. And each morning, when the sky brightened and light began to flood my cell, I agreed with her.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  43. “Words always take on the color of the deeds or sacrifices they evoke.” – Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays
  44. “Whoever gives nothing, has nothing. The greatest misfortune is not to be unloved, but not to love.” – Albert Camus, Notebooks, 1951-1959
  45. “Actual freedom has not increased in proportion to man’s awareness of it.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  46. “No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and emotions shared by all.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  47. “All systems of morality are based on the idea that an action has consequences that legitimize or cancel it. A mind imbued with the absurd merely judges that those consequences must be considered calmly.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  48. “And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  49. “…A city deprived of everything, devoid of light and devoid of heat, starved, and still not crushed.” – Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays
  50. “The Four Conditions of Happiness: Life in the open air, Love for another being,Freedom from ambition,Creation” – Albert Camus
  51. “Human rebellion ends in metaphysical revolution. It progresses from appearances to acts, from the dandy to the revolutionary.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  52. “So long as the epidemic lasted, there was never any lack of men for these duties. The critical moment came just before the outbreak touched the high-water mark, and the doctor had good reason for feeling anxious.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  53. “The absurd does not liberate; it binds. It does not authorize all actions. ‘Everything is permitted’ does not mean that nothing is forbidden.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  54. “I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  55. “The loves we share with a city are often secret loves.” – Albert Camus, Summer in Algiers
  56. “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.” – Albert Camus, Carnets: 1935-1942
  57. “The future is the only kind of property that the masters willingly concede to the slaves.” – Albert Camus, The Rebel
  58. “So all a man could win in the conflict between plague and life was knowledge and memories.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
  59. “A man’s failures imply judgment, not of circumstances, but of himself.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
  60. “After another moment’s silence she mumbled that I was peculiar, that that was probably why she loved me but that one day I might disgust her for the very same reason.” – Albert Camus, The Stranger
  61. “It is not humiliating to be unhappy. Physical suffering is sometimes humiliating, but the suffering of being cannot be, it is life.” – Albert Camus, Notebooks, 1935-1951
  62. “There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night.” – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays
  63. “He knew that the tale he had to tell could not be one of final victory. It could be only the record of what had to be done, and what assuredly would have to be done again in the never-ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
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Albert Camus Video – Is Life Absurd and How to Live it?

French-Algerian philosopher Albert Camus believed that life has no inherent meaning and is, therefore, absurd. His writings have had significant impact on the evolution of existential philosophy and whether life has meaning, how it should be lived, and a lot deeper rabbit holes.

Watch this fun and interesting video for a quick overview.


Albert Camus is significant to the literary world, and is also an influence because of his actions and the words of his books that he had carried out while alive. In his words and actions, Camus showed open-mindedness, justice, liberty, condemnation of violence, tolerance, and resistance to tyranny.

Albert Camus’s novels and works still prove to be an inspiration to book lovers and philosophers. If you haven’t read any of these novels, these quotes may urge you to do so. If you are already a fan of Albert Camus novels, these quotes may provide inspiration for you and even make you want to reread some of these famous works.

Image Credit: Photograph by United Press International, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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