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The Plague
Quots From The Plague

"Good humored, always ready with a smile, he seemed an addict of all normal pleasures without being their slave." 

"When a war breaks out, people say: 'It's too stupid; it can't last long." But though a war may well be 'too stupid,' that doesn't prevent its lasting. Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so wrapped up in ourselves." 

"The doctor was still looking out of the window. Beyond it lay the tranquil radiance of a cool spring sky; inside the room a word was echoing still, the word 'plague.' A word that conjured up in the doctor's mind not only what science chose to put into it, but a whole series of fantastic possibilities utterly out of keeping with that gray and yellow town under his eyes, from which were rising the sounds of mild activity characteristic of the hour; a drone rather than a bustling, the noises of a happy town, in short, if it's so possible to be at once so dull and happy." 

"There lay certitude; there, in the daily round. All the rest hung on mere threads and trivial contingencies; you couldn't waste your time on it. The thing was to do your job as it should be done." 
"Also - this, anyhow, was what he told Dr. Rieux - he had come, after long experience, to realize that he could always count on living within his means; all he had to do was scale down his needs to his income." 
"Ah!" Cottard sighed. "I only wish I had a knack for writing" When Grand showed his surprise, Cottard explained with some embarrassment that being a literary man must make things easier in lots of ways. "Why?" Grand asked. "Why, because the author has more rights than ordinary people, as everybody knows. People will stand much more from him." 
"From now on, it can be said that plague was the concern of all of us. Hitherto, surprised as he may have been by the strange things happening around him, each individual citizen had gone about his business as usual, so far as this was possible. And no doubt he would have continued doing so. But once the town gates were shut, every one of us realized that all, the narrator included, were, so to speak, in the same boat, and each one of us would have to adapt himself to the new conditions of life. Thus, for example, a feeling normally as individual as the ache of separation from those one loves suddenly became a feeling in which all shared alike and - together with fear - the greatest affliction of the long period of exile that lay ahead." 

"Thus, too they came to know the incorrigible sorrow of all prisoners and exiles, which is to live in company with a memory that serves no purpose. Even the past, of which they thought incessantly, had a savor only of regret." 

"Nevertheless - and this point in most important - however bitter their distress and however heavy their hearts, for all their emptiness, in can be truly said of these exiles that in the early period of the plague they could account themselves privileged. For at the precise moment when the residents of the town began to panic, their thoughts were wholly fixed on the person whom they longed to meet again. The egoism of love made them immune to the general distress and, if they thought of the plague, it was only in so far as it might threaten to make their separation eternal. Thus in the very heart of the epidemic they maintained a saving indifference, which one was tempted to take for composure. Their despair saved them from panic, thus their misfortune had a good side." 

"The doctor glanced up at the statue of the Republic, then said he did not know if he was using the language of reason but he knew he was using the language of the facts as everybody could see them - which wasn't necessarily the same thing." 

"The really remarkable thing, and Rambert was greatly struck by this, was the way in which, in the very midst of a catastrophe, offices could go on functioning serenely and take initiatives of no immediate relevance, and often unknown to the highest authority, purely and simply because they had been created originally for this purpose."