I have always confronted life as an unwavering rebel.
After reading Sartre, I viewed life as an unfair and unrelenting tragedy. When I was a young man of only fifteen, I was anguished to think of man’s destiny, doomed as we are to total abandonment, and defenseless against it. I was frightened by the idea of someday disappearing forever. Like everyone else, I have tried to erase such thoughts and instead take advantage of the pleasures of this brief and joyful passage on earth that fate grants us without our consultation. I have felt the ecstasy of the fantastic natural world around us, and, arm-in-arm with my friends, I cast aside the disturbing thoughts that so afflicted me when I was alone.
I wore a mask of youthful optimism and contagious good humor. I was known as a high-spirited and spontaneous personality, a lover of the Bohemian lifestyle, while deep inside I nursed a tremendous sorrow when I thought about humanity and life.
by Oscar Niemeyer