“Courage and Intelligence”

“Thank you for your last post on the blog. I thought it was a beautiful idea and Christmas present. In resonance with your comments, one of my great satisfactions of 2019 was to have finally managed to read Camus’ ‘The Rebel’ entirely, a book that I kept with me since I was 18, and which I had several times started reading without ever going to the end.

I was certainly too young at the time but regretted not having insisted earlier, especially since the book gives the perspective of Camus on a number of works and authors that are on the book lists you have indicated for us. The central theme is analysis by Camus on how men try to think, live and organize after rebelling against (the idea of) God to the point of having driven Him out of their world…and on the dead ends to which they arrive.”

Thank you for your encouraging affirmation and personal touch here. A few quotes from Camus’ book you mention that blend well with related themes we’ve touched on in this blog and in our shared conversations…

“Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”

“Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty.”

“Those who love, friends and lovers, know that love is not only a blinding flash, but also a long and painful struggle in the darkness for the realization of definitive recognition and reconciliation.”

“The words that reverberate for us at the confines of this long adventure of rebellion are not formulas for optimism, for which we have no possible use in the extremities of our unhappiness, but words of courage and intelligence which, on the shores of the eternal seas, even have the qualities of virtue.” 

“The primordial sea indefatigably repeats the same words and casts up the same astonished beings on the same seashore. But at least he who consents to his own return and to the return of all things, who becomes an echo and an exalted echo, participates in the divinity of the world.”

~ Albert Camus

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