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Obituary Cioran 1911-1995

"I have no nationality - the best possible status for an intellectual."

Emil Cioran, born in Rasinari, Romania and educated at Bucharest University, was regarded as one of the greatest contemporary writers in the French language. A scholarship from the French Institute in Bucharest brought him in 1937 to Paris. Emil Cioran's works constitute what the American novelist and critic William Gass has called "a philosophical romance on modern themes of alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as a agony, reason as disease." His friend Samuel Beckett, another exile in Paris, was one of many who helped Cioran out financially and was repaid by his advice. Beckett, about whom Cioran wrote so vividly in Anathemas And Admirations, introduced him to the English - speaking world through the Evergreen Review, saying: "He is not a writer of despair, there is always a little blue light." Without him it is difficult to imagine the future of what the French call esprit without his persistent intonation. His powerful and delicate mind afforded us a dismayed and hilarious testimony of his Raison.

from The Guardian, June 23, 1995

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