He matched the pounding of his blood with the violent pulsation of the sun at two o’clock, and deep in the fierce fragrance, deafened by the invisible insects, he watched the sky turn from white to deep-blue, then pale to green, pouring down its sweetness upon the still-warm ruins. […] Beyond the curve of the days he glimpsed neither superhuman happiness nor eternity - happiness was human, eternity ordinary.
"Believe me, there is no such thing as a great suffering, great regret, great memory…Everything is forgotten, even a great love. That’s what’s sad about life, and also what’s wonderful about it. There is only a way of looking at things, a way that comes to you every once in a while. That’s why it’s good to have had love in your life after all, to have had an unhappy passion - it gives you an alibi for the vague despairs we al suffer from." After a pause, he added: "I don’t know if you understand what I mean."
"I think I understand." She suddenly turned her head toward Mersault. "You’re not happy."
"I will be," Mersault said violently. "I have to be. With this night, this sea, and this flesh under my fingers." He had turned back toward the window and tightened his hand over the nape of Lucienne’s neck. She said nothing.
Then, without looking at him, “At least you feel friendly toward me, don’t you?”
Patrice knelt beside her and gently bit her shoulder. “Friendly, yes, the way I feel friendly toward the night. You are the pleasure of my eyes, and you don’t know what a place such joy can have in my heart.”
[Albert Camus, A Happy Death]
When I look at my life and its secret colors, I feel like bursting into tears. Like that sky. It’s rain and sun both, noon and midnight. You know, Zagreus, I think of the lips I’ve kissed and of the wretched child I was, and of the madness of life and the ambition that sometimes carries me away. I’m all those things at once. I’m sure there are times when you wouldn’t even recognize me. Extreme in misery, excessive in happiness.
- Albert Camus, A Happy Death