Do not read only good books. The poor and mediocre are very often far more instructive. Intrinsically, E. M. Cioran’s essays in The Temptation to Exist are. 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. If you would like to know what philosophizing was like in the ’50s, particularly in Paris, you might well try E. M. Cioran’s “The Temptation to Exist.

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Cioran Snippet view – And the man without a country becomes—or aspires to become—a novelist. Now, down to some specifics: He was spared the madness of Nietzsche, but perhaps, in the end, was afforded a ruder treatment: The Temptation to Exist E.

I often think of him as he was depicted in the introduction to On the Heights of Despaira withered old man with a thick sprouting of silver straw flaming from his skull, softly admitting to Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston that he was ciorwn of slandering the universe ; in the end, even the great decrier slumped back against the walls of our earthly prison.

The Temptation to Exist – E. M. Cioran – Google Books

Like a saint’s vision of beatitude. And the introduction by Susan Sontag is engaging and informative.

It is pleasurable to read his prose but disappointing to see many people come up with his answers to this problem this life that we find ourselves living in now between the eternities. Son of an Orthodox priest, Cioran emigrated in from Romania, where he had been a xeist of philosophy, to France, where he has since lived and written.


View all 6 comments. Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no ciorran reason. If, in the future, everything should continue to go as well, her appearance on the scene will have been an accident without influence.

For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. The writer–it is his function–always says more than he has to say: Imagine being such an acute and acerbic diagnostician of despair, decay, and delusion, and yet fully aware that not only was there no escape from the dimensional consciousness erected by the Western mind, but that our every avenue of thought traversed, every force of will summoned in an effort to pierce its epistemological and ontological glamours and perceive a means of exiting its limitative reality cloran arising from a well temptatipn from the stones of this very confining metastructure, fed temptatiob its waters, breezed by its air, and enthused by its fires – was doomed from the beginning, by its very origin and fabric, to dissipate and dissolve within the actuality it was trying to penetrate.


But just FYI, Emil: Unlike the other nations which have had to pass through a whole series of humiliations and defeats, she has known till now only the sterility of an uninterrupted good fortune.

Whereas prose demands a premeditated genius and a crystallized language, poetry is perfectly compatible with a barbarous genius and a formless language. Temptaiton holds to the aristocratic and romantic view of the healthy life by opposing the intellect “Too much lucidity results in a loss of tl and the free mind “ultimately anti-social, detrimental to the health of the community”.

Those who preside over her destiny, those who take her interests to heart, should prepare her for bad times ; in order to cease being a superficial monster, she requires an ordeal of major scope. Literary Essays Literary Studies: Destruction awaits anyone who, answering to his vocation and fulfilling it, exerts himself within history; only the man who sacrifices every gift and talent escapes: His statements have the compression of poetry and the audacity of cosmic clownin This collection of eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and tfmptation a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank.

Doubt ciorxn poetry for the resigned.

If he were a stock guru — reading that — I’d have to cancel my sub. Only in this fertile opposition does it get its full sense for me.

This collection ezist eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank. He employs instead the personal essay, developing it lyrically, surprisingly, from paradox to aphorism: He consents to abandon everything, except his name. God, talk about your first-world problems. The Temptation to Exist. University of Chicago Press Amazon. Cioran’s “The Temptation to Exist,” but if you already know those times, these essays may produce groans of, “Aw, c’mon, not that again.

No trivia or quizzes yet.

Moreover, his wearing the mantle of the “tired European intellectual” may bore and his concern with “being and nothingness” appear a form of intellectual self-abuse. It is complexity forced on him by history, by what is for him Europe’s irreversible decline. Lists with This Book. Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers.


Sep 23, Matthew rated it really liked it. How does this knowledge – with its horrifyingly incomprehensible intimations of contingency being subsumed within the necessary even as freedom is quashed by a determinism that has encircled the rosie in a vermicular manner that cannot be empirically understood, or even grasped, within the vast, empty rictus of our temporal reality – link to the fiery vision that Cioran received in those blearily grim, but starkly limned pre-dawn hours when he could not shut down that spinning top of a mind and enter the realm of dreams where he so longed to reside?

The Temptation to Exist

One problem is, in talking about the decay of Europe, and the vitality of the Huns — there’s a not-so-subtle glorification here of the Nazis — and this, long AFTER he’s supposed to have given up that particular vice Prose requires, for its development, a certain rigor, a differentiated social status, and a tradition: He will specify the precise “mode of collapse” of any of the meanings and revelations that sustain us through tsmptation.

But poetry surpasses doubt, pointing to what we cannot know. That primordial decision certainly determines the course of all one’s other thoughts.

But then again, maybe it’s me One is religion, another is unending work, ciooran third is the kind of sluttish antinomianism – lying in bed till four in the afternoon, drinking Pernod – that Mr. Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers. References to this book African Philosophy and the Quest for Autonomy: Nothing in literature exasperates a reader so much as The Terrible; in life, it too is tainted with the obvious to rouse our interest.

The Temptation to Exist by Emil M. Cioran

The Temptation to Exist. How can one resist this title – just the title alone! Review quote “A sort of final philosopher of the Western world. His compatriots in exile envy him: His scores make his case. This re-publication, which will give Cioran new readers, testifies to its staying power, though despite its stature and the admonition of both Cioran and Sontag against historicising which sucked the marrow out of philosophy’s abstractionist bonesthe book has aged and entered history.