The Trouble With Being Born

Author: E. M. Cioran
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 1611457408
Size: 53.71 MB
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“One of the most delicate minds of real power writing today.”—Susan Sontag

The Trouble With Being Born

Author: E. M. Cioran
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 1628722444
Size: 39.84 MB
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In this volume, which reaffirms the uncompromising brilliance of his mind, Cioran strips the human condition down to its most basic components, birth and death, suggesting that disaster lies not in the prospect of death but in the fact of birth, "that laughable accident." In the lucid, aphoristic style that characterizes his work, Cioran writes of time and death, God and religion, suicide and suffering, and the temptation to silence. Through sharp observation and patient contemplation, Cioran cuts to the heart of the human experience. “A love of Cioran creates an urge to press his writing into someone’s hand, and is followed by an equal urge to pull it away as poison.”—The New Yorker “In the company of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard."—Publishers Weekly "No modern writer twists the knife with Cioran's dexterity. . . . His writing . . . is informed with the bitterness of genuine compassion."—Boston Phoenix

The Trouble With Being Born

Author: Jeffrey DeShell
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 1573661414
Size: 41.39 MB
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A fierce portrait of memory, family, and regret"The Trouble with Being Born" is a stark meditation on memory and the struggle both necessary and impossible to remember."

Searching For Cioran

Author: Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253003458
Size: 78.73 MB
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Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston's critical biography of the Romanian-born French philosopher E. M. Cioran focuses on his crucial formative years as a mystical revolutionary attracted to right-wing nationalist politics in interwar Romania, his writings of this period, and his self-imposed exile to France in 1937. This move led to his transformation into one of the most famous French moralists of the 20th century. As an enthusiast of the anti-rationalist philosophies widely popular in Europe during the first decades of the 20th century, Cioran became an advocate of the fascistic Iron Guard. In her quest to understand how Cioran and other brilliant young intellectuals could have been attracted to such passionate national revival movements, Zarifopol-Johnston, herself a Romanian emigré, sought out the aging philosopher in Paris in the early 1990s and retraced his steps from his home village of Rasinari and youthful years in Sibiu, through his student years in Bucharest and Berlin, to his early residence in France. Her portrait of Cioran is complemented by an engaging autobiographical account of her rediscovery of her own Romanian past.

Better Never To Have Been

Author: David Benatar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199549265
Size: 20.55 MB
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Better Never to Have Been argues for a number of related, highly provocative, views: (1) Coming into existence is always a serious harm. (2) It is always wrong to have children. (3) It is wrong not to abort foetuses at the earlier stages of gestation. (4) It would be better if, as a result of there being no new people, humanity became extinct. These views may sound unbelievable - but anyone who reads Benatar will be obliged to take them seriously.

Tears And Saints

Author: E. M. Cioran
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226106724
Size: 80.87 MB
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By the mid-1930s, Emil Cioran was already known as a leader of a new generation of politically committed Romanian intellectuals. Researching another, more radical book, Cioran was spending hours in a library poring over the lives of saints. As a modern hagiographer, Cioran "dreamt" himself "the chronicler of these saints' falls between heaven and earth, the intimate knower of the ardors in their hearts, the historian of God's insomniacs." Inspired by Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Cioran "searched for the origin of tears." He asked himself if saints could be "the sources of tears' better light." "Who can tell?" he wrote in the first paragraph of this book, first published in Romania in 1937. "To be sure, tears are their trace. Tears did not enter the world through the saints; but without them we would never have known that we cry because we long for a lost paradise." By following in their traces, "wetting the soles of one's feet in their tears," Cioran hoped to understand how a human being can renounce being human. Written in Cioran's characteristic aphoristic style, this flamboyant, bold, and provocative book is one of his most important—and revelatory—works. Cioran focuses not on martyrs or heroes but on the mystics—primarily female—famous for their keening spirituality and intimate knowledge of God. Their Christianity was anti-theological, anti-institutional, and based solely on intuition and sentiment. Many, such as Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Saint John of the Cross, have produced classic works of mystical literature; but Cioran celebrates many more minor and unusual figures as well. Following Nietzsche, he focuses explicitly on the political element hidden in saints' lives. In his hands, however, their charitable deeds are much less interesting than their thirst for pain and their equally powerful capacity to endure it. Behind their suffering and their uncanny ability to renounce everything through ascetic practices, Cioran detects a fanatical will to power. "Like Nietzsche, Cioran is an important religious thinker. His book intertwines God and music with passion and tears. . . . [Tears and Saints] has a chillingly contemporary ring that makes this translation important here and now."—Booklist

On The Heights Of Despair

Author: E. M. Cioran
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226106717
Size: 22.39 MB
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Born of a terrible insomnia—"a dizzying lucidity which would turn even paradise into hell"—this book presents the youthful Cioran, a self-described "Nietzsche still complete with his Zarathustra, his poses, his mystical clown's tricks, a whole circus of the heights." On the Heights of Despair shows Cioran's first grappling with themes he would return to in his mature works: despair and decay, absurdity and alienation, futility and the irrationality of existence. It also presents Cioran as a connoisseur of apocalypse, a theoretician of despair, for whom writing and philosophy both share the "lyrical virtues" that alone lead to a metaphysical revelation. "No modern writer twists the knife with Cioran's dexterity. . . . His writing . . . is informed with the bitterness of genuine compassion."—Bill Marx, Boston Phoenix "The dark, existential despair of Romanian philosopher Cioran's short meditations is paradoxically bracing and life-affirming. . . . Puts him in the company of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard."—Publishers Weekly, starred review "This is self-pity as epigram, the sort of dyspeptic pronouncement that gets most people kicked out of bed but that has kept Mr. Cioran going for the rest of his life."—Judith Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review

The Temptation To Exist

Author: E. M. Cioran
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 1628723432
Size: 65.41 MB
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This collection of eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank. Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers. The Temptation to Exist first introduced this brilliant European thinker twenty years ago to American readers, in a superb translation by Richard Howard. This literary mystique around Cioran continues to grow, and The Temptation to Exist has become an underground classic. In this work Cioran writes about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, about mystics, apostles, philosophers. For those to whom the very word philosophy brings visions of arduous reading, be assured: Cioran is crystal-clear, his style quotable and aphoristic. “A sort of final philosopher of the Western world. His statements have the compression of poetry and the audacity of cosmic clowning”—The Washington Post

The New Gods

Author: E. M. Cioran
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022603724X
Size: 39.59 MB
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Dubbed “Nietzsche without his hammer” by literary critic James Wood, the Romanian philosopher E. M. Cioran is known as much for his profound pessimism and fatalistic approach as for the lyrical, raging prose with which he communicates them. Unlike many of his other works, such as On the Heights of Despair and Tears and Saints, The New Gods eschews his usual aphoristic approach in favor of more extensive and analytic essays. Returning to many of Cioran’s favorite themes, The New Gods explores humanity’s attachment to gods, death, fear, and infirmity, in essays that vary widely in form and approach. In “Paleontology” Cioran describes a visit to a museum, finding the relatively pedestrian destination rife with decay, death, and human weakness. In another chapter, Cioran explores suicide in shorter, impressionistic bursts, while “The Demiurge” is a shambolic exploration of man’s relationship with good, evil, and God. All the while, The New Gods reaffirms Cioran’s belief in “lucid despair,” and his own signature mixture of pessimism and skepticism in language that never fails to be a pleasure. Perhaps his prose itself is an argument against Cioran’s near-nihilism: there is beauty in his books.