E. M. Cioran

I’ve never been able to get much into E. M. Cioran’s aphorisms, though it seems like I should. Here’s a review of a book about him, with this concluding paragraph:

To read Cioran is to be reminded of another strain in Western culture, one that rejects the progressive ethic of political compromise and social improvement. It is customary, now, to refer to such eruptive and wild-hearted modes of thought, particularly where they coexist with a penetrating intellect, acute criticisms of the liberal political order, and high talent for prose, as “dangerous” – to demean with this label anything touched by the slightest breath of anti-modern sentiment. Cioran’s work belongs to the category of the “dangerous”. And the word applies as both a term of opprobrium and a term of the very highest praise: After all, if philosophy is not dangerous, what purpose can it have?

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One thought on “E. M. Cioran

  1. Rob

    A Romanian friend told me that Cioran is standard reading fare for kids back home. I can believe it, to judge by the wonderful burst of sardonic and unflinching cinema from Romania over the past few years ( –“The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”, and “12:08 East of Bucharest” are good examples), despite the deep humanism animating them.

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