Those who prefer their principles over their happiness, they refuse to be happy outside the conditions they seem to have attached to their happiness. If they are happy by surprise, they find themselves disabled, unhappy to be deprived of their unhappiness.
(Notebooks 1951-1959 By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Ryan Bloom, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2008, P. 13) source
The original quote in French is:
Ceux qui préfèrent leurs principes à leur bonheur. Ils refusent d’être heureux en dehors des conditions qu’auparavant ils ont fixées à leur bonheur. S’ils le sont, par surprise, les voilà désemparés – malheureux d’être privés de leur malheur.
(Œuvres complètes, Tome 4 Par Albert Camus, Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, Paris: Gallimard, 2006, P. 1113) source
Those Who Prefer Their Principles Over Their Happiness Meaning
There are folks who you may call them stubborn or silly. They adamantly stick to their so-called principles.
To them happiness in life, it must satisfy their set of principles, values or fundamental rules.
Otherwise they still won’t be truly happy.
Even if it a surprised happiness, they still will not accept it and be happy about it.
This preference may sound odd or even preposterous to some of you, that there are people who think and behave this way.
The problem with life principles is that, they become our habits.
As you know habits are hard to break. As a result, this behavior can restrict our capacity for happiness.
Anyway, here is another profound quotation by French-Algerian philosopher, author, and journalist, Albert Camus.
“In a sense, and as in melodrama, killing yourself amounts to confessing. It is confessing that life is too much for you or that you do not understand it” – Albert Camus
“Se tuer, dans un sens, et comme au mélodrame, c’est avouer. C’est avouer qu’o n est dépassé par la vie ou qu’on ne la comprend pas.” (French)
(The Myth Of Sisyphus By Albert Camus, Translated From The French Justin O’Brien, Penguin UK, 2013, An Absurd Reasoning, Absurdity And Suicide) source
(The quote can also found in: The Myth Of Sisyphus And Other Essays By Albert Camus, Translated From The French By Justin O’Brien, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1955, The Myth Of Sisyphus, An Absurd Reasoning, Absurdity and Suicide, P. 3) source
(The quote in French is found in: Le Mythe De Sisyphe Essai Sur L’Absurde Par Albert Camus, Paris: Les Éditions Gallimard, 1942, Un Raisonnement Absurde, L’Absurde Et Le Suicide, P. 14) source
(The quote in French is also found in: Oeuvres Complètes d’Albert Camus, Volume 1, Paris: Aux Éditions Du Club De L’Honnête Homme, 1983, P. 137) source
(The second part of the quote is found here.)
Note: You can find the FREE e-book of Notebooks 1951-1959 by Albert Camus over here.
*Check out my selection of Albert Camus Caligula quotes with full citations.