There is always in man an element that rejects love. It's the element that wants to die. It's what asks to be forgiven.

— Albert Camus
Notebooks, March 4, 1950

On what should the heart base its actions? Love? Nothing is less reliable. We can know what the pains of love are like, but not love itself. Here, it is deprivation, regret, and empty hands. I shall never have the courage; I am left with anguish. A hell where everything presupposes paradise. It is hell nevertheless. What I call life and love is whatever leaves me empty. Departure, constraint, breaches of love or friendship, my heart scattered in darkness within me, this salt taste of tears and love.

 

— Albert Camus
Notebooks, March 21, 1941.

To write, one must always remain just this side of the words (rather than go beyond them).

— Albert Camus
Notebooks 1935-1942, p. 95

For whom does this sheaf of blackbirds fly across the green sky? The blind and deaf summer which filters through and gives a purer sound to the cries of the swifts and the newsboys' shouts.

— Albert Camus
Notebooks 1935-1942, p. 90

We haven't the time to be ourselves. All we have time for is happiness.

— Albert Camus
Notebooks 1935-1942, p. 79

Confidence in words is classicism---but to keep its confidence, it uses them with discretion, Surrealism, which is suspicious of them, abuses them. Let us go back to classicism, out of modesty.

— Albert Camus
Notebooks 1942-1951, p. 77