- Publisher: the viking press (1967)
- ASIN: B000TIX60O
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,415,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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the trouble with being born
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A cautionary note - Cioran is extremely well-educated in Western Philosophy, Christianity and Buddhism. Because of that, this is not really a book for someone who doesn't have strong grounding in philosophy (or at the least Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Hegel) and some familiarity with religion. Additionally, the philosophy types should know that this book is not really philosophy in the Western Sense. It's written more like Eastern Philosophy. It's entirely aphorisms.
That said, if you can bear with it, this is one of the best things I've ever read. The clarity of thought and sheer brilliance of the aphorisms are unmatched apart from Lao Tzu and McLuhan.
Cioran is grimly pessimistic and has an extremely mordant sense of humor. He also explores the human condition and the recalcitrant nature of existence and art. If Nietzsche had a sense of humor and lived amidst French existentialism, he'd have written this book. Cioran is a bit more of an irrationalist (and a Buddhist .... and a Christian) than Nietzsche, though (and a bit less of an anti-egalitarian). Case in point:
"Sometimes I wish I was a cannibal - less for the pleasure of eating someone than for the pleasure of vomiting him."
For me, Cioran has always been like reading Final Exit, having sex in a graveyard, or reading Nietzsche.Read more ›
Insomnia is a way of perturbing the mind and forcing the insomniac to awaken to the world as it is. The rest are sleepers. Corian argued that his insomnia was a perturbation of his faculties and this is why he said thay it is truer to the human condition to write about the black, than it is to clap about optimism, clapping like demented seals at something we can't understand, or getting all wet and hot over science, like a silly schoolgirl. Corian saw behind these thick veils of optimism.
The optimistic world view will never deliver on the promise. The darkening of colour that optimism causes in our lives only adds to our despair. Work for that mortgage and you work on your mausoleum. Intelligent people choose optimism instead of recognising the fragile foundation inside.
Emil Cioran saw the world as a machinery of hell, and the person, limited in time and space, a gasp of pain between birth and death; can never be happy in hell. Our world is a big cruel mistress with a whip; the conditions of her arising make happiness impossible. Life is fragile and insecure, with little purpose but to be born, gasp and die. But what of salvation?
The shattered God still dwells in the ruins; but He is a ghost who is never to be taken seriously again because no one believes in him anymore, like Father Christmas, a skeleton of stones amongst the ruins of the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At times, this book is brilliantly written. Cioran is a fantastic writer. There are some golden aphorisms sprinkled throughout this book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Robert Stefanic
As book of quotes from Cioran. If you are a fan of Cioran then reading one or two quotes as you slip off into your troubled dreams just adds a little spice into the dark corners... Read morePublished 14 months ago by john m.
Cioran's work is difficult. His style of nihilism is deeply rooted in a sort of panic surrounding his understanding that he shouldn't be here. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Colin Hinckley
This product is excellent and arrived in very good time.Published 21 months ago by Rossmery Gavilanez
I wanted to like this. However the aphorisms read like self-indulgent poetry which gets old after like 50 pages. Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by W. Allie
After a reasonably interesting start, either I lost the plot, or else there is no plot....I am so frustrated...stopped after some 30 pages....simply could not bear the strugglePublished on September 20, 2013 by Sb Herman
This book is by a Romanian writer who looks his historical period squarely in the eye. A good example of mid-century existentialism.Published on July 22, 2013 by QuantumFrank
New condition, just as it was described! Can't wait to start reading this book. The cover had a small dent when I received it but it was minimal, so I still give it 5 stars.Published on June 2, 2013 by Danny C