AN ESSAY ON THE WRITINGS OF E.M. CIORAN (by Paul Stubbs)

Cioran“All of his life Cioran negated, if not banished, the idea of building for himself a philosophical ‘system’, realizing at an early age that the universe was too far imperturbable to be reduced to man’s own mortification. In his essay ‘Valéry Facing his idols’ he wrote: ‘if we were to translate the philosophers’ lucubrations into normal language, what would be left of them?’ Such premonitions reduced Cioran’s own mind to the size and space of a ‘confessional-box’, an unsolicited and shameless disclosure of who he really was. Each word, a drop of blood, reflected his unnameable lassitude, the inexhaustible sameness of his voice, his always private predilections for nothing but his own interior world-shapes. For this writer there was no difference between the detonation of a bomb and that of a full-stop: he accepted everything, his life a constant ‘new’ death entering into the graveyard of his speech. To live separate from the rest of mankind is not to be a destroyer of worlds, but of the spleen, he who in disparaging human beings acted upon a scarcely credible stage. Each aphorism in The Temptation to Exist for example is a far too-recent disaster, an ethical impasse, where inside each word we hear only a teleological clock ticking, and where the ancient ‘Rules’ and laws of matter have begun to subside in the dust of his own brain.” (Paul Stubbs)

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