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The Stranger Quotes

I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.
I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.
Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter.
I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.
If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.
It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I'd been happy, and that I was happy still. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.
Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?" "Yes," I said.
Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure.
I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another. I had done this and I hadn't done that. I hadn't done this thing but I had done another. And so?.
After awhile you could get used to anything.
She was wearing a pair of my pajamas with the sleeves rolled up. When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. She looked sad. But as we were fixing lunch, and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her.
Mostly, I could tell, I made him feel uncomfortable. He didn't understand me, and he was sort of holding it against me. I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else. But really there wasn't much point, and I gave up the idea out of laziness.
I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored.
I've never really had much of an imagination. But still I would try to picture the exact moment when the beating of my heart would no longer be going on inside my head.
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.
After another moment's silence she mumbled that I was peculiar, that that was probably why she loved me but that one day I might disgust her for the very same reason.
Maman used to say that you can always find something to be happy about. In my prison, when the sky turned red and a new day slipped into my cell, I found out that she was right.
One always has exaggerated ideas about what one doesn't know.
I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.
At that time, I often thought that if I had had to live in the trunk of a dead tree, with nothing to do but look up at the sky flowing overhead, little by little I would have gotten used to it.
For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman. I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a 'fiancé,' why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too.
I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.
I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else.
I explained to him, however, that my nature was such that my physical needs often got in the way of my feelings.
Thus, I always began by assuming the worst; my appeal was dismissed. That meant, of course, I was to die. Sooner than others, obviously. 'But,' I reminded myself, 'it's common knowledge that life isn't worth living, anyhow.' And, on a wide view, I could see that it makes little difference whether one dies at the age of thirty or threescore and ten-- since, in either case, other men will continue living, the world will go on as before. Also, whether I died now or forty years hence, this business of dying had to be got through, inevitably.
But,' I reminded myself, 'it's common knowledge that life isn't worth living, anyhow.
I was assailed by memories of a life that wasn't mine anymore, but one in which I'd found the simplest and most lasting joys: the smells of summer, the part of town I loved, a certain evening sky, Marie's dresses and the way she laughed.
I didn’t like having to explain to them, so I just shut up, smoked a cigarette, and looked at the sea.
What really counted was the possibility of escape, a leap of freedom, out of the implacable ritual, a wild run for it that would give whatever chance for hope there was. Of course, hope meant being cut down on some street corner, as you ran like mad, by a random bullet. But when I really thought it through, nothing was going to allow me such a luxury. Everything was against it; I would just be caught up in the machinery again.
Everything is true, and nothing is true!.
I would rather not have upset him, but I couldn't see any reason to change my life. Looking back on it, I wasn't unhappy. When I was a student, I had lots of ambitions like that. But when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it say that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better pushing right back.
The Byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, his condition exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action.
On my way out I was even going to shake his hand, but I remembered just in time that I'd killed a man.
I opened myself up to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself.
And I too, felt ready to start life all over again. It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.
Maman used to say that you can always find something to be happy about.
As if this great outburst of anger had purged all my ills, killed all my hopes, I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world- and finding it so much like myself, in fact so fraternal, I realized that I’d been happy, and that I was still happy. For the final consummation and for me to feel less lonely, my last wish was that there should be a crowd of spectators at my execution and that they should greet me with cries of hatred.
I hope the dogs don't bark tonight. I always think it's mine.
I couldn't quite understand how an ordinary man's good qualities could become crushing accusations against a guilty man.
She was wearing a pair of my pajamas with the sleeves rolled up. When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so. She looked sad.
The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where it all started. I shook off the sweat and the sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.
Still, obviously, one can't be sensible all the time.
I felt as I hadn't felt for ages. I had a foolish desire to burst into tears. for the first time I'd realized how all these people loathed me.
My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know. I received a telegram from the old people's home: "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Very sincerely yours." That doesn't mean anything. It might have been yesterday.
I wished I could have made him stay, to explain that I wanted things between us to be good, not so that he'd defend me better but, if I can put it this way, good in a natural way. Mostly, I could tell, I made him feel uncomfortable. He didn't understand me, and he was sort of holding it against me. I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else. But really there wasn't much point, and I gave up the idea out of laziness.
...he said firmly, "God can help you. All the men I’ve seen in your position turned to Him in their time of trouble." "Obviously," I replied, "they were at liberty to do so, if they felt like it." I, however, didn’t want to be helped, and I hadn’t time to work up interest for something that didn’t interest me.
...there was only one thing that interested her and that was getting into bed with men whenever she'd the chance. And I warned her straight. 'You'll be sorry one day, my girl, and wish you'd got me back'.
maybe she had become tired of being the girlfriend of a condemned man. It also occured to me that maybe she was sick, or dead. These things happen. [...] Anyway, after that, remembering Marie meant nothing to me. That seemed perfectly normal to me, since I understood very well that people would forget me when I was dead.
...as if familiar paths traced in summer skies could lead as easily to prison as to the sleep of the innocent.
Big tears of frustration and exhaustion were streaming down his cheeks. But because of all the wrinkles, they weren't dripping off. They spread out and ran together again, leaving a watery film over his ruined face.
There was the same dazzling red glare. The sea gasped for air with each shallow, stifled wave that broke on the sand. ...with every blade of light that flashed off the sand, from a bleached shell or a peice of broken glass, my jaws tightened. I walked for a long time.
How did I picture the life after the grave? I Fairly bawled out at him: 'A life in which I can remember this life on earth. That's all I want of it.
That's all for today, Monsieur Antichrist.
Well, then I'll die.' Sooner than other people, obviously. But everybody knows that life isn't worth living. And when it came down to it, I wasn't unaware of the fact that it doesn't matter very much whether you die at thirty or at seventy since, in either case, other men and women will naturally go on living, for thousands of years even. Nothing was plainer, in fact. It was still only me who was dying, whether it was now or in twenty years' time.
Then she said she wondered if she really loved me or not. I, of course, couldn't enlighten her as to that. And, after another silence, she murmured something about my being "a queer fellow." "And I daresay that's why I love you," she added. "But maybe that's why one day I'll come to hate you.
So the thing that bothered me most was that the condemned man had to hope the machine would work the first time.
There is only one class of men, the privileged class.
And so I learned that familiar paths traced in the dusk of summer evenings may lead as well to prison as to innocent untroubled sleep.
And, on a wide view, I could see that it makes little difference whether one dies at the age of thirty or threescore and ten—since, in either case, other men and women will continue living, the world will go on as before. Also, whether I died now or forty years hence, this business of dying had to be got through, inevitably. Still, somehow this line of thought wasn't as consoling as it should have been; the idea of all those years of life in hand was a galling reminder!.
As I usually do when I want to get rid of someone whose conversation bores me, I pretended to agree.