Here is a set of lines from the book 'A Happy Death ' by 'Albert Camus' : 'In the past, whenever Mersault had spent any time with one woman, he made the first gestures of commitment, he was conscious of the disastrous fact that love and desire must be expressed in the same way, and he would think about the end of the affair before even taking her in his arms.' I want to know what Camus meant by the disastrous fact that love and desire must be expressed in the same way?

  • The question (as well as the previous oones) is about "semantics", i.e. how to understand the specific lingusitc expression or - more generally - about the interpretation of Camus' works ? Dec 29, 2018 at 10:44
  • Perhaps Camus saw that the greatest form of love is not tainted by desire. .
    – user20253
    Dec 29, 2018 at 12:55
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    Note that there's also a Literature Stack Exchange site that you may be interested in (especially if you're interested in the literary/interpretive aspects of this book). Dec 29, 2018 at 17:24
  • @christo183 This seems like a question about English and not about philosophy. If it is a question about philosophy the OP should edit their post to make that clearer.
    – E...
    Dec 29, 2018 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


In general, A Happy Death (1936-38), as well as the following Camus' novel : The Stranger (1942), which share with the previous one the title character : Mersault, revolves around the attempt to make sense of life, despite its absurdity (i.e. llack of sense, of meaning).

The basic questions are : are money, love, success, the way to "give sense" to life ?

Is suicide the only response to absurdity ?

Or, in the end, the only way to face absurdity is to live the human condition, becoming conscious of it?

In this context, the quoted passage means : is love only "animal" desire ? If so, it seems that love cannot "give sense" to human life.

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    ALLERGRANZA Can you explain your answer in more detail? Dec 29, 2018 at 15:58
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    @DikshitGautam - what is not clear ? Again, your question is about the semantics of the quoted passage or about the interpretation of Camus' work ? Dec 29, 2018 at 16:00

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