The Temptation to Exist

This collection of eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers.The Temptation to Exist first introduced this brilliant European thinker twenty years ago to American readers, in a superb translatThis collection of eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers.The Temptation to Exist first introduced this brilliant European thinker twenty years ago to American readers, in a superb translation by Richard Howard This literary mystique around Cioran continues to grow, and The Temptation to Exist has become an underground classic In this work Cioran writes about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, about mystics, apostles, philosophers For those to whom the very word philosophy brings visions of arduous reading, be assured Cioran is crystal clear, his style quotable and aphoristic A sort of final philosopher of the Western world His statements have the compression of poetry and the audacity of cosmic clowning The Washington Post
The Temptation to Exist This collection of eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations the writer the

  • Title: The Temptation to Exist
  • Author: Emil M. Cioran Richard Howard
  • ISBN: 9781611457384
  • Page: 220
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Temptation to Exist”

    1. Really, Emil? You’re tempted to exist? God, talk about your first-world problems. Outside the Latin Quarter, has anyone ever troubled their head about such a ridiculous pseudo-dilemma?A lot of smart people around here seem to love Cioran, but I just don’t get the attraction. True, he’s a gifted stylist, but what’s the point of filling book after book with beautiful sentences if your only theme is the utter futility of everything, including beautiful sentences? And what enlightenment, if [...]

    2. Poor Cioran. I often think of him as he was depicted in the introduction to On the Heights of Despair, a withered old man with a thick sprouting of silver straw flaming from his skull, softly admitting to Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston that he was weary of slandering the universe; in the end, even the great decrier slumped back against the walls of our earthly prison. Imagine being such an acute and acerbic diagnostician of despair, decay, and delusion, and yet fully aware that not only was there no [...]

    3. How can one resist this title - just the title alone! One of the great cynical thinkers in the 20th Century. I recently discovered him, and once I read this book, i had to go out and get every title by this incredible writer. Good volume to have by the bedside, when you have one of those nightmares that wake you up. When he's there, the real nightmare happens!

    4. Bir başka yazım sırasına göre okuduğum kişi ve kitaplar da Cioran'ın eserleridir. Eğer bilmediğim başka eser yoksa 2 kitap sonra bitiyor ve tüm eserleri kapsayan genel bir yazı yazmaya çalışacağım.

    5. Cioran mi diverte, nel senso più puro e completo del termine. In un'epoca dominata da un pragmatismo acritico ai limiti dell'idiozia, i suoi pensieri sfondano le più elementari barriere concettuali con sfrontatezza. E con profonda, potente e nascosta, ironia. Il suo nihilismo appare pesante, funereo e privo di respiro, solo a chi non riesce mai a liberarsi dal proprio "determinismo necessario"; a chi è incatenato alla propria, militante, monodimensionalità di vedute. Ai finti scettici, ai su [...]

    6. "The Temptation to Exist" makes an interesting complement (or foil?) to Paul Tillich's "The Courage To Be." The two map opposite poles of our spiritual life, as well as revealing two different meanings that ultimate lucidity can have. Read on its own, Cioran's perspective seems incomplete, forced. Only in this fertile opposition does it get its full sense for me.“Every work turns against its author: the poem will crush the poet, the system the philosopher, the event the man of action. Destruct [...]

    7. I've spent 2-3 hours with this now, spread over a couple of days -- and I'm sorry to say I can't find anything very interesting in it. Maybe it's me The only essay that grabbed me at all is "on a winded civilization". It has some fine insights on the meta-psychology (I'm just making up a word that doesn't really mean anything here) of cultural decay -- which he dates (Anti-Enlightenment guy that he is) from the end of the 18th cen.And even that very brief essay mostly bored me. A lot of it is ju [...]

    8. Çürümenin Kitabı'ndan sonra kalemine vurulduğum Cioran'dan bir inci daha. Agresif, öfkeli ve umutsuz bir yazar Cioran. Dili ağır ve tumturaklı. Bu kitapta da yine dinleri, din adamlarını, sanatı, romanı, sanatçıyı ve var olmayı sorunsallaştırıyor. İntihara eğilimli olsa da yazarak hayata tutunuyor Cioran. Hem kendine hem de dünyaya kin, öfke ve nefret kusuyor ama yine de dünyayı sevmekten alıkoyamıyor kendini. Depresif, melankolik ve kasvetli yazılar yazmış olsa da [...]

    9. Cioran is just humorous enough in his pessimism, and acerbic in his irony (though I'm not convinced that a lot of his most outrageous statements were actually as ironic for him as they've been perceived to be by many critics and commentators), and anyone who loves a mental exercise, murky and inside-out as they can be, will enjoy this collection of post-Nietzschean philosophical essays. And the introduction by Susan Sontag is engaging and informative. Now, down to some specifics:"Thinking Agains [...]

    10. i kept thinking, while reading cioran, of what sheeper said about edward dahlberg: "Read [him] but pay no attention to anything he says. He is so critical and cantankerous, so grum, small, and jealous, that if you took him at all seriously he would drive you as batty as he is. The quotations he burdens his work with are never to the point, and, as he is incapable of placing two sentences in logical order, such a thing as a quiet, scholarly paragraph let alone essay or chapter is outside his reac [...]

    11. OH but what I forgot to add in my thing below is the part Sontag writes about Hegel's system representing the end of philosophy, or Hegel's idea of philosophy as the history of philosophy- so that after Hegel there's no philosophizing left, his science encompasses all, and outside of Hegel's science (since Time did indeed keep going on) what takes the place in the absence of systematized philosophy and the absence of religion is then Ideologies, or non-scientific philosophies. Anyway, most of y' [...]

    12. "Am făcut din moarte o afirmare a vieţii, i-am convertit abisul într-o ficţiune salvatoare, ne-am epuizat argumentele împotriva evidenţei şi iată-ne, după toate acestea, pândiţi de marasm: e răzbunarea otravei din noi, a firii noastre, a acelui demon al bunului-simţ, care, aţipit un răstimp, se trezeşte ca să ne acuze prostia şi ridicolul voinţei de orbire. Ani în şir ne-am scrutat fără milă, am fost complicii propriei noastre pierzanii, ne-am imunizat la veninul adevăru [...]

    13. "Il Nulla era senz'altro più confortevole"La morte di cui racconta E. M. Cioran, - Questa morte e Quella, "dato immediato" e "stato limite" - non è Perdita di occasioni. E' l'indicibile Occasione. Perduta. Per chi, maldestramente, scientemente, onniscientemente, evita di 'sostenerla' con voluttà.Sì, avete letto bene.

    14. He lost me during 'Beyond The Novel'.It's hard for me to see beyond a cynicism, brooding fascism, and a genuine disdain for the human condition. This is my second try, and every time I pick Cioran up I just end up wanting to throw the book across the room.There's just something about a guy who refers to the construct of the novel as 'The rubbish of Western Civilization' then goes on to proclaim the need for the return to the Philosophical antiquarians because to attempt to study the character of [...]

    15. I found these essays dull and repetitive. The one on "the Jew" was repellent and strange. Who in the modern world talks about Jewish people as cursed to be separate from all others?

    16. Nietzsche once remarked that when we stare into the abyss the abyss stare into us. Cioran knows the abyss. However staring into Cioran one can determine what the abyss sees when it peers into his writings. This book was written after the Nazi Gotterdammerung which Cioran allied himself to in his youth. Reading these postwar essays from the fifties and the sixties he seems to have held on too those values that inspired his allegiance to fascism. He is a remarkable writer and has many incites into [...]

    17. I can't figure out if I love or hate this dude. He's like the Don Rickles of philosophers--he spares no one a ripping (Proust, Balzac, Voltaire, etc.). Though he does seem to sport wood for Gogol and Nietzsche, but even then the praise feels backhanded. In the essay, "Some Blind Alleys: A letter," Cioran writes, "Poem, novel, essay, play--everything seems to long. The writer--it is his function--always says more than he has to say: he swells his thought and swathes it with words. All that substi [...]

    18. E.M. Cioran turns out to be the arrogant bore you wish you hadn't invited to dinner. I have to admit here that I ducked out of dinner early, in the middle of the second essay.I was bombarded with assertions that were supported only by wit, and wit isn't enough. And if what's being asserted is supposed to be self-evident without developing argument, what's the point?I should invent a did-not-finish bookshelf, just for this one. My usual rule is, "You bought it, now you finish it!" Impossible.

    19. Ce îmi reproșez cu privire la Cioran e că am început să-l citesc, sau mai precis, să-l devorez, prea devreme. La 17 ani vedeam în el o confirmare a celor mai ascunse şi tragice intuiții ale mele, fără să observ că el deseori mântuieşte credințele pe care tocmai a scuipat, afirmând despre sine: "sunt înțeleptul ce nu voi fi niciodată". Astfel, printre altele, deşi într-o scrisoare a sa compatimeşte un tânăr care vrea să fie scriitor, atrăgându-i atenția cu privire  l [...]

    20. Questo libro è un lungo aforisma. Cinico, sagace, ironico, Cioran esplora, con la sua prosa eccelsa, gli argomenti più disparati, dalla letteratura alla teologia, dai commenti biografici all'ontologia, mettendone in risalto i lati paradossali e contraddittori, ridicolizzandoli con intelligenza e, di fatto, facendoli a pezzi, con quel nichilismo ridente o, meglio, sogghignante, che lo contraddistingue. A metà tra Nietzsche e il Pessoa del Libro dell'inquietudine, Cioran parla a ruota libera, l [...]

    21. "Una religione s’instaura sul crollo di una saggezza: i raggiri di quella non si addicono a questa. Gli uomini preferiranno sempre disperare in ginocchio piuttosto che in piedi. Alla salvezza, sono la loro viltà e la loro fatica che vi aspirano, la loro incapacità di elevarsi all’inconsolabilità e di trovarvi ragioni d’orgoglio." (p. 164)

    22. I liked his segment on the hebrews-- the other parts were quiet difficult to go through-- more for his own therapeutic vomiting

    23. This "existentialist refuser" is a must-read for any who wish to have their thinking challenged.Susan Sontag, in her overblown and pretentious introduction, says that "Nuance, irony, and refinement are the essence of his thinking. of the most delicate minds of real power writing today". For me, he is truly one of the few original thinkers I have come across. He challenges the ideologies, meanings, and "religions" that we kneel down to in order to forget our nothingness. He skewers our sacred co [...]

    24. recensione a) Dicono: "Chi vuole avvicinarsi a Cioran apra questo libro: � forse il suo pi� perfetto, ma soprattutto � quello che lo rivela nei suoi gesti peculiari, nella fisiologia, nel �ritmo suo proprio, pressante e irriducibile�. (il libro � del '56 durante i terrori del nucleare) Avviciniamoci. Un profluvio inarrestabile di sentenze apodittiche, lapidarie e tonanti. Indimostrate e spesso - forse - � dubbia pure la dimostrabilit�. Alcune sono vere in certi contesti e corrobo [...]

    25. Brilliant in a disturbing kind of way. Not too much of a philosophy book, rather an emotional ride of pessimism, which can only be compared to Thomas Ligotti's "Conspiracy against the Human Race." Even if you disagree with the philosophy of pessimism, this will leave you pondering upon many important questions.

    26. La tentazione di esistere risale al 1956, anno della crisi ungherese. Interessante ai fini dell’analisi dell’opera di Cioran, per comprendere l’influenza che la storia rumena ebbe sul suo pensiero, anche se esule e lontano dallo svolgersi dei fatti. Indagare su quello che fu l’atteggiamento del suo paese natio, nei confronti di quell’evento. Atteggiamento che è ben delineato dalla sintesi data a suo tempo da F. Fejtö nella sua storia dei regimi comunisti est - europei in cui si espli [...]

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