I recently read Albert Camus’ novel The Stranger, originally published in 1942. Here are ten quotes from this novel that particularly stood out to me.
It occurred to me that somehow I’d go through another Sunday, that Mother now was buried, and tomorrow I’d be going back to work as usual. Really, nothing in my life had changed.
And, after another silence, she murmured something about my being “a queer fellow.” “And I daresay that’s why I love you,” she added. “But maybe that’s why one day I’ll come to hate you.”
The trigger gave, and the smooth underbelly of the butt jogged my palm. And so, with that crisp, whipcrack sound, it all began. I shook off my sweat and the clinging veil of light. I knew I’d shattered the balance of the day, the spacious calm of this beach on which I had been happy.
All normal people, I added as an afterthought, had more or less desired the death of those they loved, at some time or another.
And so I learned that familiar paths traced in the dusk of summer evenings may lead as well to prisons as to innocent, untroubled sleep.
Often and often I blame myself for not having given more attention to accounts of public executions. One should always take an interest in such matters.
Another thing I did to deflect the course of my thoughts was to listen to my heart. I couldn’t imagine that this faint throbbing which had been with me for so long would ever cease.
[…] there’s no idea to which one doesn’t get acclimatized in time.
It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.
For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.