Friday, April 6, 2007

Albert Camus

In the hardest class that I ever took, Political Theory, Dr. McLemore loved to quote the "Plague" by Camus. In it, one of the characters like to spit on cats. This bit of information that McLemore often shared with us baffled me because it seemed like it never had anything to do with what we were discussing. Although after reading, McKinnon, Foucault, Arendt and about 35 others, McLemore's references to Camus are what I remember the most.

I just read a short book last night called "Summer in Algiers," by the famed existentialist who wanted to simply be known as a writer and a man.

Here are some quotes from the book that I enjoyed the most.

"Likewise, beyond the yellow walls of Oran, land and sea continue their indifferent dialogue. That permanence in the world has always had contrary charms for man. It drives him to despair and excites him. The world never says but one thing; first it interests, then it bores. But eventually it wins out by the dint of obstinancy. It is always right." pg. 37

"In the middle of the day when the sky opens its fountains of light in the vast, sonorous space, all the headlands of the coast look like a fleet about to se out." pg. 42

"Only at noon, at the hour when the cicadas themselves fall silent as if overcome, I would flee before the greedy glare of an all-consuming light." pg. 46

"When one has once had the good luck to love intensely, life is spent in trying to recapture that ardour and that illumination." pg. 48

"To come alive again needs a special grace, self-forgetfulness, or a homeland. Certain mornings, on turning a corner, a delightful dew falls on the heart and then evaporates. But its coolness remains and this is what the heart requires always." pg. 49

"I satisfied the two thirsts one cannot long neglect without drying up-I mean loving and admiring. For there is merely bad luck in not being loved; there is misfortune in not loving." pg 52

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