♥ Book Title : History and Utopia
☯ Full Synopsis : "“Only a monster can allow himself the luxury of seeing things as they are,” writes E. M. Cioran, the Romanian-born philosopher who has rightly been compared to Samuel Beckett. In History and Utopia, Cioran the monster writes of politics in its broadest sense, of history, and of the utopian dream. His views are, to say the least, provocative. In one essay he casts a scathing look at democracy, that “festival of mediocrity”; in another he turns his uncompromising gaze on Russia, its history, its evolution, and what he calls “the virtues of liberty.” In the dark shadow of Stalin and Hitler, he writes of tyrants and tyranny with rare lucidity and convincing logic. In “Odyssey of Rancor,” he examines the deep-rooted dream in all of us to “hate our neighbors,” to take immediate and irremediable revenge. And, in the final essay, he analyzes the notion of the “golden age,” the biblical Eden, the utopia of so many poets and thinkers."Article| E. M. Cioran| Statement ..."
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♥ Book Title : The New Gods
☯ Full Synopsis : "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."Article| E. M. Cioran| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Tears and Saints
☯ Full Synopsis : "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"Article| E. M. Cioran| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Temptation to Exist
☯ Full Synopsis : "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"Article| E. M. Cioran| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Trouble with Being Born
☯ Full Synopsis : "“One of the most delicate minds of real power writing today.”—Susan Sontag"Article| E. M. Cioran, Richard Howard, Eugene Thacker| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Searching for Cioran
☯ Full Synopsis : "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 emigrÃ©, 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."Article| Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : On the Heights of Despair
☯ Full Synopsis : "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"Article| E. M. Cioran, Émile Michel Cioran| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Temptations of Emile Cioran
☯ Full Synopsis : "The Romanian-born Emile Cioran is one of the most important figures of modern French philosophy and literature. Even though most of his French works have been translated into English, this is the first attempt to produce a comprehensive presentation and appraisal of his work to an English-speaking public. Written in the form of a dialogue between two skeptical minds, this book discusses both the pre-war Romanian and post-war French works of Cioran."Article| William Kluback, Michael Finkenthal| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Drawn and Quartered
☯ Full Synopsis : "In this collection of aphorisms and short essays, E.M. Cioran sets about the task of peeling off the layers of false realities with which society masks the truth. For him, real hope lies in this task, and thus, while he perceives the world darkly, he refuses to give in to despair. He hits upon this ultimate truth by developing his notion of human history and events as "a procession of delusions," striking out at the so-called "Fallacies of Hope." By examining the relationship between truth and action and between absolutes, unknowables, and frauds, Cioran comes out, for once, in favor of being."Article| E. M. Cioran| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Anathemas and Admirations
☯ Full Synopsis : "In this collection of essays and epigrams, E.M. Cioran gives us portraits and evaluations—which he calls admirations—of Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the poet Paul Valery, and Mircea Eliade, among others. In alternating sections of aphorisms—his anathemas—he delivers insights on such topics as solitude, flattery, vanity, friendship, insomnia, music, mortality, God, and the lure of disillusion."Article| E. M. Cioran| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : A Short History of Decay
☯ Full Synopsis : "E. M. Cioran confronts the place of today's world in the context of human history—focusing on such major issues of the twentieth century as human progress, fanaticism, and science—in this nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe. Touching upon Man's need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran's pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certainty that renders them delicate, vivid, and memorable. Illuminating and brutally honest, A Short History of Decay dissects Man's decadence in a remarkable series of moving and beautiful pieces."Article| E. M. Cioran| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : An Infamous Past
☯ Full Synopsis : "Cioran was one of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century to be seduced by totalitarianism. The scene of Cioran's excesses is Romania and Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, a time of xenophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, Nazism, and Stalinism."Article| Marta Petreu| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : For Two Thousand Years
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Originally published in Romanian as De doua mii de ani in 1934. Original English-language edition first published by Penguin Books Ltd, London"  -- Verso title page."Article| Mihail Sebastian| Statement ..."