The other night at the bookstore I picked up a copy of the 1942-1951 notebooks of Albert Camus (published by Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 2010). I had never read anything by him, but he jumped off the shelf because I remembered a friend’s debate over the correct pronunciation of his name. Camus and I were instant friends. His notebooks are just idea journals—collections of quotes, philosophical snippets, plot sketches, musings, etc. He changes to a new topic or train of thought every few paragraphs, sometimes dwelling longer on an idea that needs time and space to develop. I relate to this style. Pastiche is the way I create, and I keep numerous such journals. I love jumping around, turning diverse ideas around in my mind, riffing on themes and easily shifting directions. I also enjoy obsessing about an idea, absolutely focusing all my creative energy on it until I write it out, which often takes years, lots of research, and lots of reflection.
Not only was Camus’ style floating my boat, but his thoughts were really resonating with my current spiritual experience and were helping me think about my current creative project. I have not read the whole thing yet (nor am I likely to since I read snippets of lots of books at once and rarely finish any of them), but one bit caught my attention and I wanted to put it up for discussion here:
“Unbridled sex leads to a philosophy of the non-significance of the world. Chastity on the other hand gives the world a meaning” (39). Continue reading