Absurdism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "absurdism" Showing 1-30 of 126
Albert Camus
“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”
Albert Camus

Albert Camus
“Man stands face to face with the irrational. He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Albert Camus
“The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.”
Albert Camus

Albert Camus
“Mother used to say that however miserable one is, there’s always something to be thankful for. And each morning, when the sky brightened and light began to flood my cell, I agreed with her.”
Albert Camus, The Stranger

Oscar Wilde
“I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do. If a personality fascinates me, whatever mode of expression that personality selects is absolutely delightful to me.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Albert Camus
“Likewise and during every day of an unillustrious life, time carries us. But a moment always comes when we have to carry it. We live on the future: “tomorrow,” “later on,” “when you have made your way,” “you will understand when you are old enough.” Such irrelevancies are wonderful, for, after all, it’s a matter of dying. Yet a day comes when a man notices or says that he is thirty. Thus he asserts his youth. But simultaneously he situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it. That revolt of the flesh is the absurd.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Albert Camus
“Existence is illusory and it is eternal.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Albert Camus
“Of whom and of what 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 I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction. For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers. I can sketch one by one all the aspects it is able to assume, all those likewise that have been attributed to it, this upbringing, this origin, this ardor or these silences, this nobility or this vileness. But aspects cannot be added up. This very heart which is mine will forever remain indefinable to me. Between the certainty I have of my existence and the content I try to give to that assurance the gap will never be filled.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Daniil Kharms
“I am interested only in "nonsense"; only in that which makes no practical sense. I am interested in life only in its absurd manifestations.”
Daniil Kharms

“I am unable to believe in a God susceptible to prayer. I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits, and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds.”
Quentin Crisp

Clarice Lispector
“And it's inside myself that I must create someone who will understand.”
Clarice Lispector

Albert Camus
“The human heart has a tiresome tendency to label as fate only what crushes it. But happiness likewise, in its way, is without reason, since it is inevitable.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Albert Camus
“Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas. J'ai reçu un télégramme de l'asile : « Mère décédée. Enterrement demain. Sentiments distingués. » Cela ne veut rien dire. C'était peut-être hier.”
Albert Camus, The Stranger

Albert Camus
“If I convince myself that this life has no other aspect than that of the absurd, if I feel that its whole equilibrium depends on that perpetual opposition between my conscious revolt and the darkness in which it struggles, if I admit that my freedom has no meaning except in relation to its limited fate, then I must say that what counts is not the best living but the most living.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Albert Camus
“And here are trees and I know their gnarled surface, water and I feel its taste. These scents of grass and stars at night, certain evenings when the heart relaxes-how shall I negate this world whose power and strength I feel? Yet all the knowledge on earth will give me nothing to assure me that this world is mine. You describe it to me and you teach me to classify it. You enumerate its laws and in my thirst for knowledge I admit that they are true. You take apart its mechanism and my hope increases. At the final stage you teach me that this wondrous and multicolored universe can be reduced to the atom and that the atom itself can be reduced to the electron. All this is good and I wait for you to continue. But you tell me of an invisible planetary system in which electrons gravitate around a nucleus. You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Robert Wright
“Whereas modern cynicism brought despair about the ability of the human species to realize laudable ideals, postmodern cynicism doesn't — not because it's optimistic, but because it can't take ideals seriously in the first place. The prevailing attitude is Absurdism. A postmodern magazine may be irreverent, but not bitterly irreverent, for it's not purposefully irreverent; its aim is indiscriminate, because everyone is equally ridiculous. And anyway, there's no moral basis for passing judgment. Just sit back and enjoy the show.”
Robert Wright, The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

Albert Camus
“Men, too, secrete the inhuman. At certain moments of lucidity, the mechanical aspect of their gestures, their meaningless pantomime makes silly everything that surrounds them. A man is talking on the telephone behind a glass partition; you cannot hear him, but you see his incomprehensible dumb show: you wonder why he is alive. This discomfort in the face of man’s own inhumanity, this incalculable tumble before the image of what we are, this “nausea,” as a writer of today calls it, is also the absurd.”
Albert Camus

Ashim Shanker
“The arrow of time obscures memory of both past and future circumstance with innumerable fallacies, the least trivial of which is perception.”
Ashim Shanker, Only the Deplorable

“He wishes he were a skilled poet, it would fit his chosen image perfectly; the poor, tragic, tortured artiste. But he has no talent for words, neither for paints nor music; his uselessness is tremendously total.”
Curtis Ackie, Goldfish Tears

Albert Camus
“...A day comes when a man notices or says that he is thirty. Thus he asserts his youth. But simultaneously he situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Albert Camus
“Weariness comes at the end of the acts of a mechanical life, but at the same time it inaugurates the impulse of consciousness. It awakens consciousness and provokes what follows. What follows is the gradual return into the chain or it is the definitive awakening. At the end of the awakening comes, in time, the consequence: suicide or recovery. In itself weariness has something sickening about it. Here, I must conclude that it is good. For everything begins with consciousness and nothing is worth anything except through it.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Keith Buckley
“Go get your gun because God won't show.
He sent a poet instead.
The Don Quixote of the ICU. Quite impressive for a cripple. Munchhausen by proxy of a muse.
Tempt not a desperate man. This split lip is for you. I traded it for an outdated tooth.”
Keith Buckley

Ashim Shanker
“The Coach’s head was oblong with tiny slits that served as eyes, which drifted in tides slowly inward, as though the face itself were the sea or, in fact, a soup of macromolecules through which objects might drift, leaving in their wake, ripples of nothingness. The eyes—they floated adrift like land masses before locking in symmetrically at seemingly prescribed positions off-center, while managing to be so closely drawn into the very middle of the face section that it might have seemed unnecessary for there to have been two eyes when, quite likely, one would easily have sufficed. These aimless, floating eyes were not the Coach’s only distinctive feature—for, in fact, connected to the interior of each eyelid by a web-like layer of rubbery pink tissue was a kind of snout which, unlike the eyes, remained fixed in its position among the tides of the face, arcing narrowly inward at the edges of its sharp extremities into a serrated beak-like projection that hooked downward at its tip, in a fashion similar to that of a falcon’s beak. This snout—or beak, rather—was, in fact, so long and came to such a fine point that as the eyes swirled through the soup of macromolecules that comprised the man’s face, it almost appeared—due to the seeming thinness of the pink tissue—that the eyes functioned as kinds of optical tether balls that moved synchronously across the face like mirror images of one another.

'I wore my lizard mask as I entered the tram, last evening, and people found me fearless,' the Coach remarked, enunciating each word carefully through the hollow clack-clacking sound of his beak, as its edges clapped together. 'I might have exchanged it for that of an ox and then thought better. A lizard goes best with scales, don’t you think?' Bunnu nodded as he quietly wondered how the Coach could manage to fit that phallic monstrosity of a beak into any kind of mask, unless, in fact, this disguise of which he spoke, had been specially designed for his face and divided into sections in such a way that they could be readily attached to different areas—as though one were assembling a new face—in overlapping layers, so as to veil, or perhaps even amplify certain distinguishable features. All the same, in doing so, one could only imagine this lizard mask to be enormous to the extent that it would be disproportionate with the rest of the Coach’s body. But then, there were ways to mask space, as well—to bend light, perhaps, to create the illusion that something was perceptibly larger or smaller, wider or narrower, rounder or more linear than it was in actuality. That is to say, any form of prosthesis designed for the purposes of affecting remedial space might, for example, have had the capability of creating the appearance of a gap of void in occupied space. An ornament hangs from the chin, let’s say, as an accessory meant to contour smoothly inward what might otherwise appear to be hanging jowls. This surely wouldn’t be the exact use that the Coach would have for such a device—as he had no jowls to speak of—though he could certainly see the benefit of the accessory’s ingenuity. This being said, the lizard mask might have appeared natural rather than disproportionate given the right set of circumstances. Whatever the case, there was no way of even knowing if the Coach wasn’t, in fact, already wearing a mask, at this very moment, rendering Bunnu’s initial appraisal of his character—as determined by a rudimentary physiognomic analysis of his features—a matter now subject to doubt. And thus, any conjecture that could be made with respect to the dimensions or components of a lizard mask—not to speak of the motives of its wearer—seemed not only impractical, but also irrelevant at this point in time.”
Ashim Shanker, Don't Forget to Breathe

Ashim Shanker
“Princess Cookie’s cognitive pathways may have required a more comprehensive analysis. He knew that it was possible to employ certain progressive methods of neural interface, but he felt somewhat apprehensive about implementing them, for fear of the risks involved and of the limited returns such tactics might yield. For instance, it would be a particularly wasteful endeavor if, for the sake of exhausting every last option available, he were even to go so far as resorting to invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery, for this unorthodox process would only prove to be the cerebral equivalent of tracking a creature one was not even sure existed: surely one could happen upon some new species deep in the caverns somewhere and assume it to be the goal of one’s trek, but then there was a certain idiocy to this notion, as one would never be sure this newfound entity should prove to be what one wished it to be; taken further, this very need to find something, to begin with, would only lead one to clamber more deeply inward along rigorous paths and over unsteady terrain, the entirety of which could only be traversed with the arrogant resolve of someone who has already determined, with a misplaced sense of pride in his own assumptions, that he was undoubtedly making headway in a direction worthwhile. And assuming still that this process was the only viable option available, and further assuming that Morell could manage to find a way to track down the beast lingering ostensibly inside of Princess Cookie, what was he then to do with it? Exorcise the thing? Reason with it? Negotiate maybe? How? Could one hope to impose terms and conditions upon the behavior of something tracked and captured in the wilds of the intellect? The thought was a bizarre one and the prospect of achieving success with it unlikely. Perhaps, it would be enough to track the beast, but also to let it live according to its own inclinations inside of her. This would seem a more agreeable proposition.

Unfortunately, however, the possibility still remained that there was no beast at all, but that the aberration plaguing her consciousness was merely a side effect of some divine, yet misunderstood purpose with which she had been imbued by the Almighty Lord Himself. She could very well have been functioning on a spiritual plane far beyond Morell’s ability to grasp, which, of course, seared any scrutiny leveled against her with the indelible brand of blasphemy. To say the least, the fear of Godly reprisal which this brand was sure to summon up only served to make the prospect of engaging in such measures as invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery seem both risky and wasteful. And thus, it was a nonstarter.”
Ashim Shanker, Only the Deplorable

“The cracked mind of the schizophrenic may let in light which does not enter intact minds of many sane people whose minds are closed.”
Ronald David Laing

Joseph Heller
“[O piloto] Orr era louco e podia ser dado por incapaz. Bastava-lhe pedir, e a partir do momento em que o fizesse deixaria de ser louco e teria de participar em novas missões. Seria louco se participasse em novas missões e mentalmente são se não o fizesse, mas neste último caso teria de voltar a voar. Se o fizesse, seria louco e não teria de o fazer, mas se não quisesse, estaria em plena posse das faculdades mentais e deveria fazê-lo.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

“I will stop now before I make a fool out of myself. Then again. One must be quite foolish to fall in love with itself.”
Wald Wassermann

“I had always suspected myself of being almost purposeless, of not really having any single serious reason for existing. Now I was convinced, in the face of the facts themselves, of my personal emptiness.”
Louis Ferdinand Celine, Voyage au bout de la nuit

Milan Kundera
“Look around you. Of all the people you see, no one is here by his own wish. Of course, what I just said is the most banal truth there is. So banal, and so basic, that we’ve stopped seeing it and hearing it.”
Milan Kundera, The Festival of Insignificance

Ashim Shanker
“The fact is that we lack the terms to define [the Null Rhythm], and there are too many hypothetical notions upon which our assumptions are stacked that it would be silly for us to explore it. All the same, there are layers of absence between waves of static, perforations in the surface of the latent aural wall that descend to pits of ecstatic dread, eschewing the crystallized intelligence and industry of all manifestation with its own form of anti-intelligent, retro-manifestation–not the undoing upon ‘the done’ so much as the unbeing upon the ‘will have been’ (which can be stretched to include both the ‘have been’ as well as the invariable ‘to be’). The Anti-Rhythm rises from the perforations, from those pits, only to remind itself of the sheer inadequacies and of the abomination of existence, which is not to say that it confronts or beckons to all or any who exist. Rather, like a listless predator who has lost the thrill of pursuit, it observes without interest, without appetite even, this objective reality that has prevailed only in meeting the standards of its bitter contempt, for all braided within its fabric languishes in mere folly, and all therefore remains too intertwined with the scraps and muck and detritus and moreover with the flaws in this tapestry of being to intuit its desultory artifice. There is no unbeing of the ‘will have been’ aligned with a destined course. The destined destination is simply a byproduct of aim-befuddled movement.

[Excerpt from "Why Yes Always But Also Why Always Yes Never" by Ashim Shanker]”
Ashim Shanker

« previous 1 3 4 5