Three quotes by Albert Camus (7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960).
What counts is not the best living, but the most living.
If God did not exist, we would have to invent him.
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 was an Algerian-born French existentialist philosopher, author, and journalist. At age 44 he was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature and cited as the world’s foremost literary antagonist of totalitarianism.
Philosophically, Camus’s views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He is also considered to be an existentialist, even though he firmly rejected the term throughout his lifetime. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. During the 1950s Camus tried to improve human rights.
In the 1940s Camus used Prometheus, who is depicted as a revolutionary humanist, to highlight the nuances between revolution and rebellion. He analyses various aspects of rebellion, its metaphysics, its connection to politics, and examines it under the lens of modernity, of historicity and the absence of a God.
His novel, The Plague (concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s) became a bestseller during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic with its British publisher Penguin Classics struggling to keep up with demand. Their editorial director said, “It couldn’t be more relevant to the current moment,” and Camus’ daughter Catherine said that the message of the novel had newfound relevance in that “we are not responsible for coronavirus but we can be responsible in the way we respond to it.”
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