To work and create “for nothing,” to sculpture in clay, to know one’s creation has no future, to see one’s work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries—this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions. Performing these two tasks simultaneously, negating on the one hand and magnifying on the other, it the way open to the absurd creator. He must give the void its colors.

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More from Albert Camus

I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.

The Fall

Of who and of what indeed can I say: “I know that!” This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge and the rest is construction.

The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays

In the long run, one gets used to anything. After a single day’s experience of the outside world, a man could easily live 100 years in prison. He’d have laid up enough memories never to be bored.

I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.

Meursault in The Stranger

A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.

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