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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Camus Crosses The Street, parts 821 - 825


821. "You know", said the Duck to Buboni, "I have read all of those existential writers who try to convince everyone that life has no meaning, their writings are quite elegant, and there arguments very convincing but there is not a one of them who would not look both ways before crossing a busy Paris street, because actually they were phonies."


822. Smoking their pipes and drinking fine wine, sitting in their well appointed living rooms with a view of Paris, the Seine and the Pont Neuf, they set down their wine glass, lay aside their pipes and type a few lines about the meaninglessness of existence, and then go out for a few drinks at a cafe with their intellectual friends. And they all agree that the marvelous lives they are leading, are actually without any purpose at all. 


823. Outside around a corner a blind beggar asks for alms. He is old and sick and lately has come to the conclusion that he has not long to live and yet he still asks for a copper from a passing stranger, because he intends to savor the dregs of the wine of his life, even to the last swallow. 



824. Because he knows, as Dostoevsky knew, that life forever poised on a narrow ledge on the edge of a cliff can be enjoyed, and is infinitely superior to eternal nothingness. Here are  Fyodor Mikhailovich's words about it:



825. Dostoevsky: "Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!" 


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