Do not read only good books. The poor and mediocre are very often far more instructive. Intrinsically, E. M. Cioran’s essays in The Temptation to Exist are. 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. If you would like to know what philosophizing was like in the ’50s, particularly in Paris, you might well try E. M. Cioran’s “The Temptation to Exist.

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As Susan Sontag points out in her brilliant introduction, there is little that Cioran could take from his vituperation other than the satisfaction of understanding.

All that substi I can’t figure out if I love or hate this dude. This re-publication, which will give Cioran new readers, testifies to its staying power, though despite its stature and the admonition of both Cioran and Sontag against historicising which sucked the temptationn out of philosophy’s abstractionist bonesthe book has aged and entered history.

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. War and the 20th Century: In it he recounts his sufferings.

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The third is certainly the worst, but in any case the essential evil is to think in terms of escape.

And the introduction by Susan Sontag is engaging temltation informative. His compatriots in exile envy him: Jun 10, David rated it really liked it.

The man who has lost everything preserves as a last resort the hope of glory, or of literary scandal.

That primordial decision certainly determines the course of all one’s other thoughts. New Poems; Like Most Revelations: Who the fuck would actually want to exist? Cioran knows the abyss. Any positive stance we take on the question of Being is not just a gamble anymore, but pre-determines its own “exact mode of collapse.

However staring into Cioran one can remptation what the abyss sees when it peers into his writings.

The Temptation to Exist by Emil M. Cioran

His works include Trappings: But the Christian virus torments us: That they are as good poets as they are bad prose writers is to be accounted for readily enough. Cioran No preview available – Anyway, most of y’all have probably thought all this or known it before, but it was a nice thing to read in coincidence with my reading of that Pinkard book on German idealism Richard Howard was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 13, Oct 20, Ryan Clifton rated it it was amazing Shelves: There’s something almost Manichean in his rejection of any relation with the non-human background world.


One cannot conceive of a more heart rending form of the gratuitous. Sep 07, Prooost Davis rated it did not like it.

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Some of these are collections of brief essays one or two pages, on average ; others are collections of aphorisms. One wonders at times how much of this work is a self-inebriating literary exercise. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions All that substitutes of a work are two or three moments: And the man without a country becomes—or aspires to become—a novelist.

Destructio “The Temptation to Exist” makes an interesting complement or foil?


Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers. One cannot keep renewing Hell, whose very characteristic is monotony, or the face of exile either.

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