More and more, when faced with the world of men, the only reaction is one of individualism. Man alone is an end unto himself. Everything one tries to do for the common good ends in failure.

Notebooks 1935-1942 (1962), March 1940 entry

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More from Albert Camus

Likewise, a man’s sole creation is strengthened in its successive and multiple aspects: his works. One after another they complement one another, correct or overtake one another, contradict one another, too. If something brings creation to an end, it is not the victorious and illusory cry of the blinded artist: “I have said everything,” but the death of the creator which closes his experiences and the book of his genius.

We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead.

But perhaps the great work of art has less importance in itself than in the ordeal it demands of a man and the opportunity it provides him of overcoming his phantoms and approaching a little closer to his naked reality.

The Ephemeral Creation

…since the order of the world is shaped by death, mightn’t it be better for God if we refuse to believe in Him and struggle with all out might against death, without raising our eyes toward the heaven where he sits in silence?

To create is likewise to give a shape to one’s fate. For all these characters, their work defines them at least as much as it is defined by them. The actor taught us this: There is no frontier between being and appearing.