By E. M. Cioran
“In the very fact of being born there's such a scarcity of necessity that once you consider it a bit greater than ordinary you're left . . . with a silly grin.”
E. M. Cioran confronts where of trendy international 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 number 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 lifestyles, Cioran's items are pessimistic within the severe, but additionally exhibit a stunning simple task that renders them tender, bright, and noteworthy. Illuminating and brutally sincere, A brief historical past of Decay dissects Man's decadence in a impressive sequence of relocating and gorgeous items.
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Extra info for A Short History of Decay
The age of Alcibiades and the eighteenth century in France are two sources of consolation. While it is only at their final stages, at the dissolution of a whole system of behavior and belief, that the other civilizations could enjoy that lively exercise which lends a flavor of futility to life, it was in full ripeness, in full possession of their powers and of the future that these two epochs knew the tedium heedless of everything and permeable to everything. What better symbol than that of Madame du Deffand, old, blind, and perspicacious, who even while execrating life, nonetheless relished to the last its every amenity of gall?
And I dream of an Eleusis of disabused hearts, of a lucid Mystery, without gods and without the vehemences of illusion. In the Margin of Moments It is our incapacity to weep which sustains our taste for things, which makes them exist at all: it keeps us from exhausting their savor and from turning away. When, on so many brinks and byroads, our eyes refused to drown in themselves, their dryness preserved the object which amazed them. Our tears squander nature, as our terrors do God . . but in the end, they squander ourselves.
What therapeutics to invoke against a disease we no longer remember and whose aftermath encroaches upon our days? 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.
A Short History of Decay by E. M. Cioran