Albert Camus
ALBERT CAMUS   Macroknow Library

The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

"Once crime was as solitary as a cry of protest; now it is as universal as science. Yesterday it was put on trial; today it determines the law."1a

"I rebel -- therefore we exist."1b

". . . [I]n the Western World the history of rebellion is inseparable from the history of Christianity."1c

"With Cain, the first act of rebellion coincides with the first crime. . . . In that the children of Cain have triumphed, increasingly, throughout the centuries, the God of the Old Testament can be said to have been incredibly successful."1d TACITUS

"Absolute domination by the law does not represent liberty, but no more does absolute anarchy. . . Freedom exists only in a world where what is possible is defined at the same time as what is not possible. Without law there is no freedom."1e

"Absolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom. To be fruitful, the two ideas must find their limits in each other."1f

"Immediately rebellion, forgetful of its generous origins, allows itself to be contaminated by resentment; it denies life, dashes toward destruction, and raises up the grimacing cohorts of petty rebels, embryo slaves all of them, who end by offering themselves for sale, today, in all the marketplaces of Europe, to no matter what form of servitude. It is no longer either revolution or rebellion but rancor, malice, and tyranny. . . . All of us, among the ruins, are preparing a renaissance beyond the limits of nihilism. But few of us know it."1g

Interesting Link
Albert Camus, France. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1957, "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times."

* Italics in the original.

1 Albert Camus. The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt. A revised and complete translation by Anthony Bower. With a Foreword by Sir Herbert Read. Originally published in France as L�homme R�volt� by Librairie Gallimard in 1951. Librairie Gallimard, 1951. Translation first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1956. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1956 and 1984. New York, NY: Vintage International, a division of Random House, Inc., 1991.
a Introduction, p. 3.
b Part One: The Rebel, p. 22.
c Part Two: Metaphysical Rebellion. The Sons of Cain, p. 28.
d Ibid., pp. 32-33.
e Part Two: Metaphysical Rebellion. Absolute Affirmation, p. 71.
f Part Five: Thought at the Meridian. Rebellion and Murder, p. 291.
g Ibid., Beyond Nihilism, pp. 304-306.