All Gall is Divided: Gnomes and Apothegms
Romanian-born E.M. Cioran moved to Paris at the age of 26, remaining there nearly six decades until his death in 1995. He was called "a sort of final philosopher of the Western world" and "the last worthy disciple of Nietzsche"; the bleak aphorisms of All Gall Is Divided make a strong case for either appellation. "With every idea born in us," he declares early on, "something in us rots." Throughout the book, he addresses the futile attempts of man to impose meaning on a meaningless existence--"That there should be a reality hidden by appearances is, after all, quite possible; that language might render such a thing would be an absurd hope"--and nurses an ongoing fascination with the possibilities death holds for release from life's madness. (When the Dead Kennedys sang, "I look forward to death / This world brings me down," they might as well have been taking notes from Cioran.) Grim stuff, but presented in brilliant, crystalline form--particularly in the translation by Richard Howard, which retains Cioran's cold, detached viewpoint.
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Absolute Abyss anxiety aphorism Arcade become believe bestiality blood Boredom born century Cioran's cling contradictions cynicism death defeats delirium depression depths despair destiny dilettantism disappointment disease Don Quixote doubts Drawn and Quartered dream E. M. CIORAN ecstasy endure eternity everything exhausting exist experience failed failure faith fall back fate fear flesh French Gall Is Divided glands hatred Heraclitus History of Decay human ideas imitate impotent infinity instincts intox introspection lack live longer know lucidity meditate megalomania melancholy metaphysics mind miseries murder mystery nations neurosis never Nietzsche nonetheless Nothingness obsession one's oneself ourselves pain Paradise Pascal passion philosophy pity pleasure poet poetry refuge religion Richard Howard Romanticism ruin saint Samuel Beckett senility shames shudders sigh sion skepticism smile solitude soul spasm spermatozoon Stoicism suffer suicide taste tence terrors thing thought tion torment truths turn unem Utopia utter victim Void wisdom words