A Short History of Decay by E. M. Cioran

By E. M. Cioran

“In the actual fact of being born there's such a scarcity of necessity that after you consider it a bit greater than traditional you're left . . . with a silly grin.”

E. M. Cioran confronts where of modern day international within the context of human history—focusing on such significant problems with the 20th century as human growth, fanaticism, and science—in this nihilistic and witty selection of aphoristic essays in regards to the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe. Touching upon Man's have to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the traditional Greeks and the depression baseness of all life, Cioran's items are pessimistic within the severe, but additionally demonstrate a gorgeous sure bet that renders them smooth, shiny, and remarkable. Illuminating and brutally sincere, A brief historical past of Decay dissects Man's decadence in a impressive sequence of relocating and gorgeous items.

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The idea of suffering. If only I had a stone’s vocation! A heart: origin of every torment. . I aspire to the object, to the blessing of matter and opacity. The zigzagging of a gnat seems to me an apocalyptic enterprise. It is a sin to get outside yourself. . The wind—air’s insanity! Music, the madness of silence! By capitulating to life, this world has betrayed nothingness. . I resign from movement, and from my dreams. Absence! You shall be my sole glory. . Let “desire” be forever stricken from the dictionary, and from the soul!

The qualifiers change: this change is called intellectual progress. Suppress them all and what would remain of civilization? The difference between intelligence and stupidity resides in the manipulation of the adjective, whose use without diversity constitutes banality. God Himself lives only by the adjectives we add to Him; whereby the raison d'etre of theology. Hence man, by modulating the monotony of his misery ever variously, justifies himself to the mind only by the impassioned search for a new adjective.

When we carry germs of disappointments and a kind of thirst to see them develop, the desire that the world should undermine our hopes at each step multiplies the voluptuous verifications of the disease. ” But, suppose we do not want to be free of suffering nor to conquer our contradictions and conflicts—what if we prefer the nuances of the incomplete and an affective dialectic to the evenness of a sublime impasse? Salvation ends everything; and ends us. Who, once saved, dares still call himself alive?

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