Il n'y a plus de déserts. Il n'y a plus d'iles. Le besoin pourtant s'en fait sentir. Pour comprendre le monde, il faut parfois se détourner; pour mieux servir les hommes, les tenir un moment à distance. Mais où trouver la solitude nécessaire à la force, la longue respiration où l'esprit se rassemble et le courage se mesure?

There are no more deserts. There are no more islands. Yet there is a need for them. In order to understand the world, one needs to turn away from it on occasion; in order to serve men better, one needs to hold them at a distance for a time. But where can one find the solitude necessary to vigor, the deep breath in which the mind collects itself and gauges its strength?

- Camus (from l'ete, 1954)