A Short History of Decay by E. M. Cioran

By E. M. Cioran

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

E. M. Cioran confronts where of state-of-the-art global within the context of human history—focusing on such significant problems with the 20th century as human growth, 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 additionally exhibit a stunning walk in the park that renders them soft, vibrant, and remarkable. Illuminating and brutally sincere, A brief background of Decay dissects Man's decadence in a impressive sequence of relocating and lovely items.

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How invent a remedy for existence, how conclude this endless cure? And how recover from your own birth? Ennui, that incurable convalescence . ) Magnificent Futility With the exception of the Greek skeptics and the Roman emperors of the Decadence, all minds seem enslaved by a municipal vocation. Only these two groups are emancipated, the former by doubt, the latter by dementia, from the insipid obsession of being useful. Having promoted the arbitrary to the rank of drill or delirium, depending on whether they were philosophers or disabused scions of the old conquerors, they were attached to nothing: in this regard, they suggest the saints.

Our states interest it only insofar as they are transposable. Thus melancholia emanates from our viscera and joins the cosmic void; but the mind adopts melancholia only filtered of what attaches it to the fragility of the senses; the mind interprets it; refined, melancholia becomes point of view: departmental melancholia. Theory lies in wait and seizes upon our venoms, and renders them less noxious. It is a degradation from above, the mind-as-amateur of pure intoxications—since it is the enemy of intensities.

Espousing the melancholy of the ancient symbols, I should have liberated myself; I should have shared the dignity of the abandoned gods, defending them against the insidious crosses, against the invasion of servants and martyrs, and my nights would have sought their rest in the delirium and debauchery of the Caesars. Expert in disillusions, riddling the new fervors with all the arrows of a dissolute wisdom—among the courtesans, in skeptical brothels or circuses with their sumptuous cruelties, I should have swelled my reasonings with vice and with blood, dilating logic to dimensions it had never dreamed of, to the dimensions of worlds that die.

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