The Plague

Once they were on the pier they saw the sea spread out before them, a gently heaving expanse of deep-piled velvet, supple and sleek as a creature of the wild. They sat down on a boulder facing the open. Slowly the waters rose and sank, and with their tranquil breathing sudden oily glints formed and flickered over the surface in a haze of broken lights. Before them the darkness stretched out into infinity. Rieux could feel under his hand the gnarled, weather-worn visage of the rocks, and a strange happiness possessed him. Turning to Tarrou, he caught a glimpse on his friend’s face of the same happiness, a happiness that forgot nothing, not even murder.

Albert Camus “The Plague (Translated by Stuart Gilbert )”



The Savage Mind

Bergson dis­cerned the importance of the part which, in view of its logical struc­ture, the notion of species was to play in the critique of totemism. But there is every reason to fear that, had he been forced to make his analysis more specific, he would have restricted it to the sub­jective and practical aspect of the relation between man and the natural world, of the kind exemplified by someone asking what there is for lunch today and being wholly satisfied with the answer ‘veal’. In fact the importance of the notion of species is to be explained not so much by a propensity on the part of the practising agent to dissolve it into a genus for biological and utilitarian reasons (which would amount to extending to man the famous dictum that it is grass in general which attracts the herbivore) as by its pre­sumptive objectivity : the diversity of species furnishes man with the most intuitive picture at his disposal and constitutes the most direct manifestation he can perceive of the ultimate discontinuity of reality. It is the sensible expression of an objective coding.

from Claude Lévi-Strauss “The Savage Mind”



The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

An indifferent schoolmaster, mechanically teaching a science created by men of genius, may awaken in one of his pupils the vocation he himself has never possessed, and change him unconsciously into an emulator of those great men, who are invisible and present in the message he is handing on.

from Henri Bergson “The Two Sources of Morality and Religion”