By E. M. Cioran

ISBN-10: 161145736X

ISBN-13: 9781611457360

“In the very fact of being born there's such a scarcity of necessity that once you consider it a bit greater than traditional you're left . . . with a silly grin.”

E. M. Cioran confronts where of modern day global within the context of human history—focusing on such significant problems with the 20th century as human development, fanaticism, and science—in this nihilistic and witty selection of aphoristic essays about the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe. Touching upon Man's have to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the traditional Greeks and the depression baseness of all life, Cioran's items are pessimistic within the severe, but in addition show a stunning sure bet that renders them smooth, vibrant, and remarkable. Illuminating and brutally sincere, A brief heritage of Decay dissects Man's decadence in a striking sequence of relocating and gorgeous items.

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Every crucial experience is fatal: the layers of existence lack density; the man who explores them, archaeologist of the heart, of being, finds himself, at the end of his researches, confronting empty depths. He will vainly regret the panoply of appearances. Hence the ancient Mysteries, so-called revelations of the ultimate secrets, have bequeathed us nothing by way of knowledge. The initiates were doubtless obliged to keep silence; yet it is inconceivable that not a single chatterbox was among their number; what is more contrary to human nature than such stubbornness in secrecy?

But we could not exist one second without deceiving ourselves: the prophet in each of us is just the seed of madness which makes us flourish in our void. The ideally lucid, hence ideally normal, man should have no recourse beyond the nothing that is in him. . I can imagine him saying: “Torn from the goal, from all goals, I retain, of my desires and my displeasures, only their formulas. Having resisted the temptation to conclude, I have overcome the mind, as I have overcome life itself by the horror of looking for an answer to it.

God: a perpendicular fall upon our fear, a salvation landing like a thunderbolt amid our investigations which no hope deceives, the immediate annihilation of our unconsoled and determinedly inconsciable pride, a sidetracking of the individual, the soul on the dole for lack of anxiety. . What greater renunciation than Faith? True, without it we are committed to an infinity of dead ends But even when we know that nothing leads anywhere, that the universe is only a by-product of our gloom, why should we sacrifice this pleasure of tottering and of splitting our skulls against heaven and earth?

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A Short History of Decay by E. M. Cioran


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