A Short History of Decay

A Short History of Decay
First English edition: New york, Viking Press, A Richard Seaver Book, 1975
Translated from the French by Richard Howard
8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 181 pp
ISBN 0670641227

All text extracted in no particular order from E.M. Cioran's book, "A Short History of Decay."

Yes, truly, it seems to me that the demons are playing ball with my soul. - Tèresa of Avila

The Refusal to Procreate

The hatred of the "race" and of its "genius" relates you to murderers, to madmen, to divinities, and to all the great forms of the sterile. Starting from a certain degree of solitude, you must leave off loving and committing the fascinating pollution of intercourse. The man who wants to perpetuate himself at any price is scarcely to be distinguished from the dog: he is still nature; he will never understand that we can endure the empire of the instincts and rebel against them, enjoy the advantages of the species and scorn them: end of the line—with appetites. . . . That is the conflict of the man who worships and abominates woman, supremely torn between the attraction and disgust she inspires. Hence, unable to renounce the race altogether, he resolves this conflict by dreaming, on her breast, of the desert and by mingling the scent of the cloisters with the stench of over-explicit sweat. The insincerities of the flesh bring him closer to the saints. . . .

Précis de décomposition
Première édition: Paris, Gallimard, 1949
256 pages, 118 x 185 mm. Collection Les Essais (No 35).
ISBN 2070214567

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