Return to Home Page

December 8, 2011

Albert Camus on how travel brings us back to ourselves

“What gives value to travel is fear. It is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our own country…we are seized by a vague fear, and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits. This is the most obvious benefit of travel. At that moment we are feverish but also porous, so that the slightest touch makes us quiver to the depths of our being. We come across a cascade of light, and there is eternity. This is why we should not say that we travel for pleasure. There is no pleasure in traveling, and I look upon it more as an occasion for spiritual testing. If we understand by culture the exercise of our most intimate sense — that of eternity — then we travel for culture. Pleasure takes us away from ourselves in the same way as distraction, in Pascal’s use of the word, takes us away from God. Travel, which is like a greater and graver science, brings us back to ourselves.
–Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942 (1991)

Posted by | Comments (4) 
Category: Travel Quote of the Day


4 Responses to “Albert Camus on how travel brings us back to ourselves”

  1. Davis Says:

    My, but don’t those French intellectuals carry on?

  2. Roger Says:

    So true, Davis. But I have to admit, the more I read this quote, the more I agree with it.

  3. Davis Says:

    Roger: Only in the final two sentences does Camus say things that strike me as true and insightful, though I do not see how these are in any way derived from what he says before.

    “Pleasure takes us away from ourselves in the same way as distraction, . . .. Travel, which is like a greater and graver science, brings us back to ourselves.” This is the truth at the heart of his saying and with this I heartily agree.

    I understand how you can, upon diligent re-reading, find things to agree with, as do I. I just object to having to work too hard and read too charitably to find them. Difficult thoughts may excuse difficult writing, but I do not think these are difficult thoughts.

    Camus had just finished his graduate studies in philosophy, which may in part explain his manner of expression.

  4. Roger Says:

    Ok, now you’re sounding like Camus :-)

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Roger: My family and I recently returned from a three week trip to Europe (Germany,...

Ric Moore: Coming home after 4 months, I was in a bit of a funk. ‘Nothing’...

Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush?: Agreed with Lynne, well said. The...

M.Jagger: Rod, Blimey….It was a blast partying with you at the local...

Ava Collopy: I’m currently working on a new book and website project to represent...

Caroline Macomber: I’m beginning to feel that it doesn’t end. But that I...

Stephen: Does it end, though? I’ve gone through several cycles of this over the...

Margie: I will never be a tour guide, but the prospective you have shown here will help...

Lynne Nieman: Well said! Although not a long term traveler like you, I have taken a few...

Dorje: Hi all. I was born in Kathmandu in ’71, my father ran the Rose Mushroom...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Vagabonding Case Study: Mariellen Ward
Vagabonding book club: Chapter 11: Coming home
Maximilian I on the journey of life
Enlightening Self-inflicted Ruin Travel
Thank you, Victoria Falls.
Lost in the crowd when traveling?
Can words hurt as much as sticks and stones?
Vagabonding Field Report: The Penguins of Phillip Island
Long term travel with a family: You have to really want to do this
Alden Jones on going back to the places that obsess you


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts