A Short History of Decay

A Short History of Decay

Emil M. Cioran / Nov 14, 2019

A Short History of Decay A Short History of Decay is E M Cioran s nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid twentieth century Europe Touching upon Man s need to wor

  • Title: A Short History of Decay
  • Author: Emil M. Cioran
  • ISBN: 9780141192727
  • Page: 246
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Short History of Decay 1949 is E M Cioran s nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid twentieth century Europe Touching upon Man s need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran s pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also disA Short History of Decay 1949 is E M Cioran s nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid twentieth century Europe Touching upon Man s need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran s pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certainty that renders them delicate, vivid, and memorable Illuminating and brutally honest, A Short History of Decay dissects Man s decadence in a remarkable series of moving and beautiful pieces.

    • Best Read [Emil M. Cioran] ↠ A Short History of Decay || [Humor and Comedy Book] PDF Ñ
      246 Emil M. Cioran
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Emil M. Cioran] ↠ A Short History of Decay || [Humor and Comedy Book] PDF Ñ
      Posted by:Emil M. Cioran
      Published :2019-08-03T18:59:13+00:00

    About "Emil M. Cioran"

      • Emil M. Cioran

        Born in 1911 in R inari, a small village in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, raised under the rule of a father who was a Romanian Orthodox priest and a mother who was prone to depression, Emil Cioran wrote his first five books in Romanian Some of these are collections of brief essays one or two pages, on average others are collections of aphorisms Suffering from insomnia since his adolescent years in Sibiu, the young Cioran studied philosophy in the little Paris of Bucarest A prolific publicist, he became a well known figure, along with Mircea Eliade, Constantin No ca, and his future close friend Eugene Ionesco with whom he shared the Royal Foundation s Young Writers Prize in 1934 for his first book, On the Heights of Despair Influenced by the German romantics, by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and the Lebensphilosophie of Schelling and Bergson, by certain Russian writers, including Chestov, Rozanov, and Dostoyevsky, and by the Romanian poet Eminescu, Cioran wrote lyrical and expansive meditations that were often metaphysical in nature and whose recurrent themes were death, despair, solitude, history, music, saintliness and the mystics cf Tears and Saints, 1937 all of which are themes that one finds again in his French writings In his highly controversial book, The Transfiguration of Romania 1937 , Cioran, who was at that time close to the Romanian fascists, violently criticized his country and his compatriots on the basis of a contrast between such little nations as Romania, which were contemptible from the perspective of universal history and great nations, such as France or Germany, which took their destiny into their own hands After spending two years in Germany, Cioran arrived in Paris in 1936 He continued to write in Romanian until the early 1940s he wrote his last article in Romanian in 1943, which is also the year in which he began writing in French The break with Romanian became definitive in 1946, when, in the course of translating Mallarm , he suddenly decided to give up his native tongue since no one spoke it in Paris He then began writing in French a book that, thanks to numerous intensive revisions, would eventually become the impressive A Short History of Decay 1949 the first of a series of ten books in which Cioran would continue to explore his perennial obsessions, with a growing detachment that allies him equally with the Greek sophists, the French moralists, and the oriental sages He wrote existential vituperations and other destructive reflections in a classical French style that he felt was diametrically opposed to the looseness of his native Romanian he described it as being like a straight jacket that required him to control his temperamental excesses and his lyrical flights The books in which he expressed his radical disillusionment appeared, with decreasing frequency, over a period of than three decades, during which time he shared his solitude with his companion Simone Bou in a miniscule garret in the center of Paris, where he lived as a spectator and turned in on himself and maintaining an ever greater distance from a world that he rejected as much on the historical level History and Utopia, 1960 as on the ontological The Fall into Time, 1964 , raising his misanthropy to heights of subtlety The Trouble with being Born, 1973 , while also allowing to appear from time to time a humanism composed of irony, bitterness, and preciosity Exercices d admiration, 1986, and the posthumously published Notebooks Denied the right to return to Romania during the years of the communist regime, and attracting international attention only late in his career, Cioran died in Paris in 1995 Nicolas Cavaill s Translated by Thomas Cousineau


    1. A series of epigrammatic reflections on how things fall apart. This is a bleak, atheistic book, but it is strangely comforting and even humorous in its unembarrassed nihilism.Characteristic Cioran quotes:"Anyone who speaks in the name of others is always an imposter.""By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing.""Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, Chaos is being yourself."

    2. The hermeneutics of the void via prose poetry. Declared anathema: faith, love, action, dogma, suicide, living, hope. Deemed exemplary: laughter, cynicism, poetry, inertia, acceptance of death and the futility of existence, doubt. Cioran is a diagnostician of decay, the type to carouse with madmen, crooks, layabouts, and roués—to hold that Jesus ruined the tragedy of his crucifixion by appending it with his resurrection, thus imbuing his followers with the dream of eternal life, an abhorrent a [...]

    3. A Short History of Decay is an unbridled celebration of nihilism. Cioran writes with an almost theatrical degree of cynicism: his commitment to persistently wrenching the most pessimistic conclusion from any proposition is often hilarious in its melodramatic absurdity. His philosophy is one of absolute futility, in which suicide is the most noble act, and any motion towards civilisation, culture or the pursuit of knowledge is entirely misguided. While I enjoyed his acerbic commentaries on Christ [...]

    4. If you think you hate life, or maybe just the world around you this book will make you kick yourself repeatedly for being just too much of a goddamn optimist. This is one bleak and beautiful book. How Cioran could live with thoughts like these and not end his own life is beyond me, but like a character out of Beckett he continues going on. This is the second book of his that I've read and it's even darker than his more youthful and lighthearted Tears and Saints which was really not the kind of b [...]

    5. Felsefik bir söz seremonisinin en üst düzeyinden doğaçlama sancısı. Okuyucuya karşı acımasız, pervazsız. Gerçekliğin acı duruşu ve istemdışı kabullenişin kaçınılmazlığı.

    6. "Anyone who speaks in the name of others is always an imposter.""By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing."Reading E. M. Cioran's aphoristic musings on the decay of modern society is not easy on the soul, but is made bearable by his beautiful turns of phrase and concise explanations (despite the fact that he uses more ellipses than a teenager on facebook chat). Cioran's essays on human life basically rest on proving its innate absurdity. God is a failure (until he created Bach), enthusi [...]

    7. Cioran'ı çok seveceğimi düşünerek başlamıştım bu kitaba. Birçok düşüncesini desteklesem de sanırım sevmeyeceğim tek bir düşüncesiyle dahi karşılacağımı aklıma getirmediğim için karşılaştıkça şaşırdım, uzaklaştım, anca bitti kitap. Onu okumadan önce sadece katıldığım fikirlerine rastlamışım demek ki sağda solda. Algıda seçiciliğin de bir nebze etkisi var tabii. Tutarlılığı ve açıklayışı çok hoşuma gitti ama. Zaten ayrıldığımız nok [...]

    8. This book is BEYOND pessimism and nihilism! I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone that thinks positively about their future or anyone that is part of a national movement. E.M. Cioran makes no lie that he has given up on existence (aside from writing of course!).

    9. Binnenkort bespreking op De Reactor, nu op Knack: knack/nieuws/boeken/de-De filosofie van Emil Cioran: haaks op het gedachtegoed van de gevestigde filosofenDe Roemeens-Franse filosoof Emil Cioran (1911-1995) schreef een indrukwekkend oeuvre van ruim twee dozijn boeken bij elkaar. Voor velen blijft 'Précis de décomposition' (1949) - het eerste boek dat hij in het Frans schreef - een absolute uitschieter. Toen 'Précis de décomposition' uitkwam bij Gallimard beroerde het meteen de gemoederen, a [...]

    10. A brilliant masterpiece. Says so much with such artistry. Think - Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco but flavored with full-blown nihilistic humor. Cioran has me convinced by about the first paragraph that life is absurd, God wasted was a complete failure until he created Bach and totally redeemed himself, people who live in monasteries are egotistical because they care more about their own souls than living with the rest of us only the skeptics and the decadent roman emperors had living figured [...]

    11. Cioran was a really amazing human being. Cioran knew what`s going on and while reading this book not only that you find yourself in the same posture but also you can find out the answers at his own questions; reading him was just like getting to know my own thoughts at night. When getting to the part in which he wrote that he wanted to believe, he was just so prepared to trust someone or something (almost at the end of the book) I was already conscious of 'why he couldn`t make it until the end'. [...]

    12. It is a very rare thing that a philosopher can write well stylistically. Even if I disagreed with everything said here it would have gotten 5 stars for its prose alone.Of course, I did still agree with at least half of it, so that helps.

    13. İnanılmaz bir boyutta karamsarlık var kitapta, ancak esas acı olan şu ki yazarın çok az tezine karşı antitez üretebildim.

    14. not seeing the appeal. overt fascist muses on decadence. how many motherfuckers died to extinguish this kind of self-obsessed bullshit?

    15. Nihilism as a creative act! One of the great books to have by your bedside, just to remind you what kind of world we live in. Superb!

    16. „Nu mai pot spune de unde vin: în temple, n-am nici o credință; în cetăți, nici un etuziasm; pe lângă semeni mei, nici o curiozitate; pe pământ, nici o certitudine.”„Timpul corupe tot ce se manifestă și acționează: o idee sau un eveniment, actualizându-se, capătă chip și se degradează.”„La fel de incompetent în viață ca și în moarte, mă urăsc, și-n ura mea visez la altă viață, la altă moarte. Și, pentru că am vrut să fiu înțelept ca nimeni altul, nu- [...]

    17. As brilliant a thinker and writer as Cioran was, it became evident to me why I was not very familiar with his work, as I made my way through this collection of essays. To put it succinctly, he is dark as fuck. I honestly would not recommend reading this to anyone suffering from a serious form of depression. On the other hand, I don’t think most people who are not depressed would typically enjoy delving this deep into the ruminations of such a bleak worldview. Cioran takes his nihilism all the [...]

    18. Las aici două opinii despre iubire:Iubirea - o întâlnire între două salive Toate sentimentele își trag absolutul din mizeria glandelor.&Contemplați iubirea: cunoașteți simțământ mai nobil, patimă mai puțin suspectă? Fiorii ei fac concurență muzicii, rivalizează cu lacrimile singurătății și extazului: este sublimul, dar un sublim inseparabil de căile urinare: elanuri învecinate cu excreția, cer al glandelor, sfințenie subită a orificiilor Ajunge o clipă de atenți [...]

    19. This I bought and started reading in Romania itself, albeit in translation. I balked pretty hard, like an alpha-male chicken, when I saw immediately, right on the back cover, that the author flew into Romania after fascists took power, to congratulate them.He does read like someone who went to Paris for inspiration, stayed fo the nightlife, only to regress to cynicism when certainty suits him. I'd have liked to read further for the comedy factor, since he follows long nihilistic digressions with [...]

    20. I love Cioran's writing but confess that he makes me laugh out loud, much in the same way that de Sade's attempts to shock raise a chuckle and the Handsome Family's modern American Gothic appeal to my Irish/English sense of the ridiculous. I simply cannot take him seriously, and for the reader, such an attitude becomes liberating: you can simply revel in the use of language and the daring with which he expresses the most life-negating ideas. They become hilarious, a joy to read. A delight.

    21. What do you get when you mix Diogenes, Heraclitus, Lao zi, the Buddha and La Rochefoucauld in a small piece of coal and crushes it under an infitiny of existential despair and cosmic horror?Cioran constantly mentions what a romantic, idealistic young man he was - though in "In the Heights of Despair" he seems as nihilistic as always - and how now he has matured, abandoning every trace of active philosophy, abandoning movement and hope. And it's true, he does reads like a mature adult and not a r [...]

    22. Nothing quite like clearing out the mental and emotional detritus of one phase of life with the neural sandblast-treatment that is some Cioran. Cioran's thought and writing can only adequately be described as 'pleasantly exhausting': no other thinker in the history of Western philosophy has so systematically contemplated the logical endpoints of nihilism, skepticism, pessimism, abnegation, and despair. And yet, published as a collection in 1949, this series of aphoristic essays is far from a Jer [...]

    23. Well, this one took a while for such a slim volume. But even aside from being an aphoristic work of philosophy (seldom the sort of thing to benefit from being read at speed), it's hard powering through a book which is one long sigh. A hymn to the futility of everything - including thinking you've gained anything by having noticed the futility of everything - it's torn between Cioran's desire to fade away, and his envy for the great monsters of history. At times, especially when he's compellingly [...]

    24. Hide all firearms, sharp objects, and anything that could be twisted into a rope prior to delving into this one! To say it's a "downer" is an understatement of epic proportions but it's a fascinating read all the same. 80% of the time I had no real clue what Cioran was saying so I approached it as if it were Joyce's Finnegan's Wake -- hang on, let the words roll over you, and pray that something sticks along the way. Did I finish the book? Nope, but I'm not sure anyone could at one go without up [...]

    25. "As incompetent in life as in death, I loathe myself and in this loathing I dream of another life, another death. And for having sought to be a sage such as never was, I am only a madman among the mad"

    26. 3.25Bazen zorlanarak ve küfrederek, bazen de oldukça hızlı ve akıcı bir şekilde kafamı yukarı aşağı sallayarak okuduğum bir kitap oldu. Küfrettiğimi söylediğim kısımlar Emil'in yazarken amacının ne olduğunu anlayamadığım bölümlerdi ama sanıyorum ki delice sayıklama metinlerin vergisi de kolayca kavrayamadığımız bu bölümler. Zaman zaman çileli geçen bu okuma serüvenine rağmen Doğmuş Olmanın Sakıncası üzerine kitabını da okuyacağım. Emil belki muhte [...]

    27. Brief review below, but you can read a longer reflection on my blog.In Pragmatism William James writes that “the potentest of all our premises is never mentioned,” referring to the inborn temperament that so powerfully shapes our individual perceptions. Like a miscalibrated scale, we weigh the objects of the world without perceiving the bias which leads us inevitably into idiosyncrasy, mistaking the subjective for the objective and the relative for the absolute. I couldn’t help but remembe [...]

    Leave a Reply