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What will be the physiognomy of painting, of poetry, of music, in a hundred years? No one can tell. As after the fall of Athens, of Rome, a long pause will intervene, caused by the exhaustion of consciousness itself. Humanity, to rejoin the past, must invent a second naiveté, without which the arts can never begin again.
- The Trouble with Being Born

In certain men, everything, absolutely everything, derives from physiology: their body is their mind, their mind is their body.

- The Trouble with Being Born

Better to be an animal than a man, an insect than an animal, a plant than an insect, and so on. Salvation? Whatever diminishes the kingdom of consciousness and compromises its supremacy.

- The Trouble with Being Born

To stretch out in a field, to smell the earth and tell yourself it is the end as well as the hope of our dejections, that it would be futile to search for anything better to rest on, to dissolve into. .

- The Trouble with Being Born

Paradise was unendurable, otherwise the first man would have adapted to it; this world is no less so, since here we regret paradise or anticipate another one. What to do? where to go? Do nothing and go nowhere, easy enough.

- The Trouble with Being Born

Philosophers write for professors; thinkers for writers.

- Drawn and Quartered

Man is the great deserter of being.

- The Fall into Time

Suffering makes you live time in detail, moment after moment. Which is to say that it exists for you: over the others, the ones who don't suffer, time flows, so that they don't live in time, in fact they never have.

- The New Gods

From denial to denial, his existence is diminished: vaguer and more unreal than a syllogism of sighs, how could he still be a creature of flesh and blood? Anemic, he rivals the Idea itself; he has abstracted himself from his ancestors, from his friends, from every soul and himself; in his veins, once turbulent, rests a light from another world. Liberated from what he has lived, unconcerned by what he will live; he demolishes the signposts on all his roads, and wrests himself from the dials of all time. "I shall never meet myself again," he decides, happy to turn his last hatred against himself, happier still to annihilate--in his forgiveness--all beings, all things.

- A Short History of Decay

What life is left him robs him of what reason is left him. Trifles or scourges--the passing of a fly or the cramps of the planet--horrify him equally. With his nerves on fire, he would like the Earth to be made of glass, to shatter it to smithereens; and with what thirst would fling himself toward the stars to reduce them to powder, one by one.

- A Short History of Decay

If truth were not boring, science would have done away with God long ago. But God as well as the saints is a means to escape the dull banality of truth.

- Tears and Saints

The only profitable conversations are with enthusiasts who have ceased being so—with the ex-naïve…Calmed down at last, they have taken, willy-nilly, the decisive step toward knowledge— that impersonal version of disappointment.

- Drawn and Quartered

As long as I live I shall not allow myself to forget that I shall die; I am waiting for death so that I can forget about it.

- Tears and Saints

What to think of other people? I ask myself this question each time I make a new acquaintance. So strange does it seem to me that we exist, and consent to exist.

- Drawn and Quartered

My mission is to suffer for all those who suffer without knowing it. I must pay for them, expiate their unconsciousness, their luck to be ignorant of how unhappy they are.

- The Trouble with Being Born

We smile, because no answer is conceivable, because the answer would be even more meaningless than the question.

- The Trouble with Being Born

I feel I am free but I know I am not.

- The Trouble with Being Born




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6 comments:

  1. How could you people have forgotten my favorite quote from Cioran /:) ??

    "I roam through life like a whore in a world without any sidewalk."

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  2. That is a fantastic saying! Which book is it from?

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  3. All Gall Is Divided
    French title: Syllogismes de l'amertume

    The desire to die was my one and only concern; to it I have sacrificed everything, even death. (p.74)

    We cannot sufficiently blame the nineteenth century for having favored that breed of glossators, those reading machines, that deformation of the mind incarnated by the Professor—symbol of a civilization's decline, of the corruption of taste, of the supremacy of labor over whim. To see everything from the outside, to systematize the ineffable, to consider nothing straight on, to inventory the views of others! All commentary on a work is bad or futile, for whatever is not direct is null. There was a time when the professors chose to pursue theology. At least they had the excuse then of professing the absolute, of limiting themselves to God, whereas in our century nothing escapes their lethal competence.

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  4. Drawn and Quartered (1983)
    French title: Écartelèment

    What to think of other people? I ask myself this question each time I make a new acquaintance. So strange does it seem to me that we exist, and that we consent to exist.

    Existing is plagiarism.

    'Every time I think of Christ's crucifixion, I commit the sin of envy.' - I love Simone Weil when she vies with the greatest saints for pride.

    In this dream, I was flattering someone I despise. Waking, a greater self-loathing than if I had really committed such vileness...

    True moral elegance consists in the art of disguising one's victories as defeats.

    We must censure the later Nietzsche for a panting excess in the writing, the absence of rests.

    What a pity that 'nothingness' has been devalued by an abuse of it made by philosophers unworthy of it!

    A self-respecting man is a man without a country. A fatherland is birdlime...

    Illusion begets and sustains the world; we do not destroy one without destroying the other. Which is what I do every day. An apparently ineffectual operation, since I must begin all over again the next day.

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  5. can someone please help me remember one of my favorite aphorisms by cioran? it's from "the trouble with being born" (as published in the english translation by richard howard):

    "there is no negator who does not hunger for some final, catastrophic YES."

    please, if anyone can remember the exact quote, post it here. i'll check back. thanks.

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  6. Cioran is so unknown in much of the world.He has perceived the spirit of the western world better than most philosophers.Along with Agamben he should be read more carefully,only to know better the position we are in today.

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