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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Camus on Happiness, Encounter, March 1965; Other Writers Views of Happiness

But then you get to 31! (Cue to listen).

I was always impressed by these lines from Albert Camus' "Carnets", published in Encounter magazine in March 1965, as translated by Anthony Hartley under the title "A Writer's Notebook".

In 1954, Camus wrote (Cahiers III): "Pi├Ęce. Un homme heureux. Et personne ne peut le supporter".

After his death, Charles Poncet wrote, "He spoke too much about happiness to have been really happy" (Olivier Todd, Albert Camus, A Life, translated by Benjamin Ivry, p.417).

Whatever happened to Encounter? It was very popular in the Sixth Form...

Postscript (The Dalai Lama):

"The happiness we experience while we are still wandering in the cycle of existence is undoubtedly a kind of happiness, but it is not stable. What we really desire is lasting happiness. Total separation from suffering is a stable and reliable form of happiness. That is the object we wish to achieve, and what will help us achieve it is the path".


"On n'est jamais si heureux ni si malheureux qu'on s'imagine".

"We are never so happy, or so unhappy, as we imagine".

"The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings"

Happy Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson.

"Is it not absurd that we cannot be happy in our little life that is so soon over? Yet who can regulate the lone cry of the curlew or the cry of the eagle in the clouds!"

Llewelyn Powys, Letter to H. Rivers Pollock, 1930

"Happiness is in the absence of the striving for happiness", Chuang Tzu/Zhunag Zhou

From Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe (pdf)

Handel, from Alexander's Feast

Don't worry, be happy

Update on Happiness

D.H. Lawrence, The Man Who Loved Islands

The Great Disruption, Melvyn Bragg, Francis Fukuyama and Amos Oz, on happiness, social change and other topics, BBC Radio 4, June 1999.

Aristotle on Happiness

William Barnes on happiness in his garden:

A Garden

A sweet secluded garden! charming sound
To those who seldom seek the world, like me.
Secluded be it, so that none may see
Within the woody boundaries around.
And while the songs of warbling birds resound,
And while I hear the humming of the bee
Around the glowing fruit upon the tree,
And flow'rs of ev'ry colour on the ground,

There, blithely busied, I will toil to store
My ripen'd crops, until the chilly days
Of early darkness, and of glowing fires.

And when the hollow winds of winter roar,
I'll sit me down beside the cheerful blaze
In happiness. To this my soul aspires.

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