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Authors: The Stranger Quotes, Important Quotes, Quotations, Sayings from The Stranger (The Outsider) by Albert Camus
Related Quotes:   The Plague  The Rebel  The Myth of Sisyphus  Albert Camus
Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.
The Stranger
The voice of Mersault, the main character and narrator, in opening lines of novel, Part 1, Chapter 1.
It had been a long time since I'd been out in the country, and I could feel how much I'd enjoy going for a walk if it hadn't been for Maman.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 1.
It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 2.
He [Raymond] asked if I thought she was cheating on him, and it seemed to me she was; if I thought she should be punished and what I would do in his place, and I said you can't ever be sure, but I understood his wanting to punish her.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 3.
I got up. Raymond gave me a very firm handshake and said that men always understand each other. I left his room, closing the door behind me, and paused for a minute in the dark, on the landing. The house was quiet, and a breath of dark, dank air wafted from deep in the stairwell. All I could hear was the blood pounding in my ears. I stood there, motionless.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 3.
She was wearing a pair of my pajamas with the sleeves rolled up. When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. She looked sad. But as we were fixing lunch, and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 4.
I would rather not have upset him, but I couldn't see any reason to change my life. Looking back on it, I wasn't unhappy. When I was a student, I had lots of ambitions like that. But when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 5.
For the first time maybe, I really thought I was going to get married.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 6.
We [Raymond and Meursault] stared at each other without blinking, and everything came to a stop there between the sea, the sand, and the sun, and the double silence of the flute and the water. It was then that I realized that you could either shoot or not shoot.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 6.
The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That's when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where I tall started. I shook off the sweat and sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.
The Stranger
Part 1, Chapter 6.
On my way out, I was even going to shake his [the policeman's] hand, but just in time, I remembered that I had killed a man.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 1.
And I can say that at the end of the eleven months that this investigation lasted, I was almost surprised that I had ever enjoyed anything other than those rare moments when the judge would lead me to the door of his office, slap me on the shoulder, and say to me cordially, 'That's all for today, Monsieur Antichrist.' I would then be handed back over to the police.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 1.
At that time, I often thought that if I had had to live in the trunk of a dead tree, with nothing to do but look up at the sky flowing overhead, little by little I would have gotten used to it.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 2.
And the more I thought about it, the more I dug out my memory things I had overlooked or forgotten. I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored. In a way, it was an advantage.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 2.
For the first time in years, I had this stupid urge to cry, because I could feel how much all these people hated me.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 3.
The spectators laughed. And my lawyer, rolling up one of his sleeves, said with finality, 'Here we have a perfect reflection of this entire trial: everything is true and nothing is true!'
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 3.
They [the jury] had before them the basest of crimes, a crime made worse than sordid by the fact that they were dealing with a monster, a man without morals.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 3.
Yes, it was the hour when, a long time ago, I was perfectly content. What awaited me back then was always a night of easy, dreamless sleep. And yet something has changed, since it was back to my cell that I went to wait for the next day...as if familiar paths traced in summer skies could lead as easily to prison as to the sleep of the innocent.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 3.
In a way, they seemed to be arguing the case as if it had nothing to do with me. Everything was happening without my participation. My fate was being decided without anyone so much as asking my opinion.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 4.
But all the long speeches, all the interminable days and hours that people had spent talking about my soul, had left me with the impression of a colorless swirling river that was making me dizzy.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 4.
I was assailed by memories of a life that wasn't mine anymore, but one in which I'd found the simplest and most lasting joys.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 4.
The presiding judge told me in a bizarre language that I was to have my head cut off in a public square in the name of the French people. Then it seemed to me that I suddenly knew what was on everybody's fact. It was a look of consideration, I'm sure. The policemen were very gentle with me. The lawyer put his hand on my wrist. I wasn't thinking about anything anymore. But the presiding judge asked me if I had anything to say. I thought about it. I said, 'No'.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 4.
How had I not seen that there was nothing more important than an execution, and that when you come right down to it, it was the only thing a man could truly be interested in?
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
Maman used to say that you can always find something to be happy about.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
The chaplain knew the game well too, I could tell right away: his gaze never faltered. And his voice didn't falter, either, when he said, 'Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?' 'Yes,' I said.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
He wanted to talk to me about God again, but I went up to him and made one last attempt to explain to him that I only had a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 4.
I am on your side. But you have no way of knowing it, because your heart is blind.
The Stranger
The Chaplain to Meursault on eve of his execution, Part 2, Chapter 5.
He seemed so certain about everything, didn't he? And yet none of his certainties was worth one hair of a woman's head. 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 could ever 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.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
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 passed, 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 the 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.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman. I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a 'fiancé,' why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
As if that blind rage has washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, I that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much life myself - so like a brother, really - I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, 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.
The Stranger
Part 2, Chapter 5.
The Stranger (also titled The Outsider) is a 1942 existential novel by French Algerian author, philosopher and journalist Albert Camus. It it one of the finest literary expositions of the absurdity of human existence in an indifferent universe. Camus was born on November 7, 1913, and died January 4, 1960.


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