Self-pity Helps Us To Live Albert Camus Wrote In Notebooks 1935-1942 Volume One

Let’s find out about self-pity helps us to live Albert Camus wrote to gether with other great content in his Notebooks Volume One.

Albert Camus wrote: “We too often feel self-pity. It helps us to live. It is a feeling that you hardly know…”

It is found in his Notebooks 1935-1942 (Volume 1).

Camus also wrote about self-pity in another book:

“Once my solitude was thoroughly proved, I could surrender to the charms of a virile self-pity.” – Albert Camus

(The Fall By Albert Camus, Translated By Justin O’Brien, New York: Vintage Books, 1991, P. 27)

Self-pity is a self-absorbed unhappiness over one’s own sorrows or misfortunes.

It is said that self-pity is a coping mechanism.

This defensive helps us manage some of the great disappointments and frustrations that life throws at us.

But the fact is wallowing in self-pity is a very unattractive and pitiful because it reveals egoism.

It’s our own failure to put our own suffering into proper perspective.

This is what the late Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, John William Gardner had to say about self-pity.

“You find that self-pity and resentment are among the most toxic of drugs.” – John William Gardber

(Address At Stanford’s 100th Commencement Ceremony, June 16, 1991)

Let’s get back to Albert Camus…

From 1935 until his death in 1960, Albert Camus kept a series of notebooks.

He jotted down great ideas for future works, recorded snippets of conversations and excerpts from books he was reading back then.

The French author and philosopher also wrote down his reflections on death and the horror of war.

Among other content found in his notebooks are random thoughts of his feelings about women, loneliness, art, and his appreciations for the Algerian sun and sea.

Self-pity Helps Us To Live Albert CamusAll his jottings are available in three volumes, where you can catch a glimpse into the revered mind of this great writer-cum-philosopher.

Self-pity Helps Us To Live Albert Camus

Now, let’s go through my selected quotes taken from Camus’ Notebooks Volume 1.

You can find the quotes in both the original French language and English translation.

All the quotations are linked to Albert Camus’ books.

In other words, you can be sure the quotations are definitely correct and authentic.


“…war teaches us to lose everything and become what we were not.” – Albert Camus

“…la guerre apprend à tout perdre, et à devenir ce qu’on n’était pas.” (French)

(The quote is found in: Notebooks 1935-1942, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Notes Translated From The French By Philip Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1963, P. 140)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier III. Avril 1939 – Février 1942, 15 Décembre. La Guerre, 168, P. 123)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 168)


“The most dangerous temptation: to be like nothing at all.” – Albert Camus

“La tentation la plus dangereuse : ne ressembler à rien.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1965, P. 32)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Avril 37, 45, P. 35)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres Complètes D’Albert Camus, Volume 6, Aux Éditions Du Club De L’Honnête Homme, 1983, Avril 1937, P. 37)


“The need to be right – the sign of a vulgar mind.” – Albert Camus

“Le besoin d’avoir raison, marque d’esprit vulgaire.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1965, P. 32)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Avril 37, 46, P. 35)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres Complètes D’Albert Camus, Volume 6, Aux Éditions Du Club De L’honnête Homme, 1983, P. 38)


“To keep going to the end means not only resisting but also relaxing.” – Albert Camus

“Aller jusqu’au bout, ce n’est pas seulement résister mais aussi se laisser aller.” (French)

(Notebooks 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Hamish Hamilton, 1963, P. 24)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Août, 60, P. 46)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 60)


“Solitude, a luxury of the rich.” – Albert Camus

“Solitude, luxe des riches.” (French)

(Notebooks 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Hamish Hamilton, 1963, 23 September, P. 36)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, 23 Septembre, 84, P. 63)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, 23 Septembre, P. 84)


“…our moments of happiness are often those when we are lifted up into an endless sadness by the feeling that everyone has forsaken us.” – Albert Camus

“…nos minutes de bonheur sont parfois celles où le sentiment de notre abandon nous gonfle et nous soulève dans une tristesse sans fin.” (French)

(Notebooks 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Hamish Hamilton, 1963, P. 3)

(The second part of the quote is found here.)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Mai 35, 19, P. 15)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres complètes, Volume 2 Par Albert Camus, Édition Publiée Sous La Direction De Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, Éditions Gallimard, 2006, P. 797)


“…God put self-pity by the side of despair like the cure by the side of the disease.” – Albert Camus

“…dieu a mis la complaisance à côté du désespoir comme le remède à côté du mal.” (French)

(Notebooks 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Hamish Hamilton, 1963, P. 3)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Mai 35, 19, P. 15)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres complètes, Volume 2 Par Albert Camus, Édition Publiée Sous La Direction De Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, Éditions Gallimard, 2006, P. 797)


“Since we are going to die anyway, it doesn’t matter how and when.” – Albert Camus

“Du moment qu’on meurt, peu importe comment et quand.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1969, P. 117)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier II. Septembre 1937 – Avril 1939, Mai 35, 19, P. 105)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 142)


“…We too often feel self-pity. It helps us to live.” – Albert Camus

“…Nous aussi, nous avons parfois pitié de nous-mêmes. Cela nous aide à vivre.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 130)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier III. Avril 1939 – Février 1942, 156, P. 114)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 156)


“It is death which gives gambling and heroism their true meaning.” – Albert Camus

“La mort qui donne au jeu et à l’héroïsme son vrai sens.” (French)

(Notebooks 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Hamish Hamilton, 1963, P. 9)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Mars, 29, P. 23)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 29)


“We haven’t the time to be ourselves. All we have time for is happiness.” – Albert Camus

“Nous n’avons pas le temps d’être nous-mêmes. Nous n’avons que le temps d’être heureux.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 79)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier II. Septembre 1937 – Avril 1939, Décembre, 99, P. 74)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 99)


“It’s the will to happiness which matters a kind of vast ever present awareness.” – Albert Camus

“c’est la volonté du bonheur qui compte, une sorte d’énorme conscience toujours présente.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1963, P. 83)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier II. Septembre 1937 – Avril 1939, Décembre, 104, P. 78)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 104)


“In every life, there are a great number of small emotions and a small number of great emotions.” – Albert Camus

“Dans toute vie, il y a un petit nombre de grands sentiments et un grand nombre de petits sentiments.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1963, P. 109)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier II. Septembre 1937 – Avril 1939, Décembre 38, 133, P. 99)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 133)

(The second part of the quote is found here.)


“…happiness is often only the self-pitying awareness of our happiness.” – Albert Camus

“…le bonheur souvent n’est que le sentiment apitoyé de notre malheur.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1969, P. 7)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Mai 35, 19, P. 15)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 19)


People can think only in images. If you want to be a philosopher, write novels.” – Albert Camus

“On ne pense que par image. Si tu veux être philosophe, écris des romans.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 10)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Janvier 36, 23, P. 18)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres complètes, Volume 2 Par Albert Camus, Édition Publiée Sous La Direction De Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, Éditions Gallimard, 2006, P. 800)


“You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” – Albert Camus

Vanité du mot expérience. L’expérience n’est pas expérimentale. On ne la provoque pas. On la subit.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 5)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Mai 35, 17, P. 13)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 17)


Life is short, and it is sinful to waste one’s time.” – Albert Camus

“La vie est courte et c’est péché que de perdre son temps.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1969, P. 9)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Janvier 36, 22, P. 17)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 22)


“The years of our youth are so long because they are so full, the years of our old age so short because each stage is already marked out.” – Albert Camus

“…années de jeunesse sont si longues parce que si pleines, les années de vieillesse si courtes parce que déjà constituées.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1969, P. 18)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier I. Mai 1935 – Septembre 1937, Mars, 31, P. 24)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 31)

(The second part of the quote is found here.)


“Will is also loneliness.” – Albert Camus

“La volonté aussi est une solitude.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 198)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier III. Avril 1939 – Février 1942, Avril. II Série, 235, P. 171)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 235)


“The world is no secret for the wise man. Why does he need to stray into eternity?” – Albert Camus

“Pour l’homme sage, le monde n’est pas secret, qu’a-t-il besoin de s’égarer dans l’éternité ?” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 198)

(The second part of the quote is found here.)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier III. Avril 1939 – Février 1942, Avril. II Série, 235, P. 170)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres Complètes D’Albert Camus, Volume 6, Aux Éditions Du Club De L’honnête Homme, 1983, P. 167)


“Consciously or not, women always make use of this feeling for honor and respect for promises which is so intense among men.” – Albert Camus

“Consciemment ou non, les femmes utilisent toujours ce sentiment de l’honneur et de la parole donnée qui est si vif chez l’homme.” (French)

(Notebooks, Volume 1 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Alfred A. Knopf, 1963, P. 185)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier III. Avril 1939 – Février 1942, Décembre, 220, P. 160)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres complètes, Volume 2 Par Albert Camus, Édition Publiée Sous La Direction De Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, Éditions Gallimard, 2006, P. 918)


“…a birth, a death, and, between the two, beauty and melancholy” – Albert Camus

“…une naissance et une mort, entre les deux la beauté et la mélancolie.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 170)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier III. Avril 1939 – Février 1942, Mars, 202, P. 147)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 202)


“A love which cannot bear to be faced with reality is not a real love. But then it is the privilege of noble hearts not to be able to love.” – Albert Camus

“Un amour qui ne supporte pas d’être confronté avec la réalité n’en est pas un. Mais alors, c’est le privilège des cœurs nobles que de ne pouvoir aimer.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 120)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier II. Septembre 1937 – Avril 1939, Février, 146, P. 108)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres complètes, Volume 2 Par Albert Camus, Édition Publiée Sous La Direction De Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, Éditions Gallimard, 2006, P. 874)


“The historical and the eternal mind. One has a feeling for beauty. The other for infinity.” – Albert Camus

“Esprit historique et esprit éternel. L’un a le sentiment du beau. L’autre celui de l’infini.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 132)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier III. Avril 1939 – Février 1942, 158,  P. 116)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Janvier 1942 – Mars 1951 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 158)


“The misery and greatness of this world: it offers no truths, but only objects for love.” – Albert Camus

“Misère et grandeur de ce monde : il n’offre point de vérités mais des amours.” (French)

(Notebooks, 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, P. 93)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier II. Septembre 1937 – Avril 1939, Juin, 116, P. 86)

(The quote in French is also found in: Œuvres Complètes D’Albert Camus, Volume 6, Aux Éditions Du Club De L’honnête Homme, 1983, P. 86)

(The second part of the quote is found here.)


“The temptation shared by all forms of intelligence: cynicism.” – Albert Camus

“La tentation commune à toutes les intelligences : le cynisme.” (French)

(Notebooks 1935-1942 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Philip Malcolm Waller Thody, Hamish Hamilton, 1963; p.93)

(The quote in French is found in: Carnets I Mai 1935 – Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Les Éditions Gallimard, 1962, Cahier II. Septembre 1937 – Avril 1939, Juin, 116, P. 86)

(The quote in French is also found in: Carnets: Mai 1935-Février 1942 Par Albert Camus, Éditions Gallimard, 1962, P. 116)


Note: Self-pity helps us to live Albert Camus wrote together with other quotations in his Notebooks Volume One are deinitely authentic.

*Here are more authentic quotations from suspicion breeds suspicion Albert Camus published in the Resistance newspaper.

*Don’t forget to check out the meaning of “Those who prefer their principles over their happiness” quote by Camus.

Quotationize is authentic quotations with valid citations