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I read 'A happy death' by 'Albert Camus' . In this book , Mersault once said:

Believe me, there is no such thing as great suffering, great regret, great memory . . . Everything is forgotten, even a great love. That's what's sad about life, and also what's wonderful about it. There is only a way of looking at things, a way that comes to you every once in a while. That's why it's good to have had love in your life after all, to have had an unhappy passion—it gives you an alibi for the vague despairs we all suffer from.

I didn't understand what Camus want to say. Please explain it.

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I haven't read this book and I may be wrong as I don't know the whole context but reading out the sentence, I can interpret it as:

Everthing is temporary. There is a simple yet powerful statement "Time heals all wounds" which means pain doesnot last forever and in the future we will forget and move on. Same can be said for happiness as it doesn't last. We face moments of joy and pain in life but those are all shortlived, as the wheel of time rotates we forget about the things we felt in past or only vague sense of those emotions can be recalled. It is hauntingly beautiful to know this. Although, the great things that we label that we will never forget, we will eventually forget about its real essence. Its confusing yet its the truth.

The above implications can be mapped line by line as:

The first line:

Believe me, there is no such thing as great suffering, great regret, great memory . . . Everything is forgotten, even a great love. => Everthing is temporary, our memories, our emotions.

The second line:

That's what's sad about life, and also what's wonderful about it. There is only a way of looking at things, a way that comes to you every once in a while. => We face moments of joy and pain in life but those are all shortlived, as the wheel of time rotates we forget about the things we felt in past or only vague sense of those emotions can be recalled. It is hauntingly beautiful to know this.

The third line:

That's why it's good to have had love in your life after all, to have had an unhappy passion—it gives you an alibi for the vague despairs we all suffer from. => Although, the great things that we label that we will never forget, will eventually forget about its real essence. Its confusing yet its the truth.

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    Could you explain in more detail how each sentence of the original corresponds to something in your explanation? – Rand al'Thor Jan 4 at 15:45
  • @Randal'Thor I have updated my answer. Sorry for late response. – Skaranjit Jan 5 at 7:25

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