Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Stranger p.120-121

". . . I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God . . . He wasn't even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man. Whereas it looked as if I was the one who'd come up emptyhanded. But I was sure about me, about everything, surer than he ever could be, sure of my life and sure of the death I had waiting for me. Yes, that was all I had. But at least I had as much of a hold on it as it had on me. I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another. I had done this and I hadn't done that. I hadn't done this thing but I had done another. And so? It was as if I had waited all this time for this moment and for the first light of this dawn to be vindicated. Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. So did he. Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passes, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living. What did other people's deaths or a mother's love matter to me; what did his God or lives people choose or the fate they think they elect matter to me when we're all elected by the same fate, me and billions of privileged people like him who also called themselves my brothers? Couldn't he see, couldn't he see that? Everybody was privileged. There were only privileged people. The others would all be condemned one day. And he would be condemned, too."

-Albert Camus


  1. So here's the question...what the fuck is Camus actually saying about ethics?

  2. The same ideas he continually generates, that ethics, along with everything else, are self-determined. The actions we choose to make are the only thing we can be sure of, and whether they are ethical or not is not the question, but that they are our own, that we can be confident they are our own and consequentially sure of who and what we are.

  3. Aye, but his later work shows some second thoughts with said ideas. Where there be certainty, there be monsters...even the certainty of the self. But he's probably right anyways.