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On the Heights of Despair by E. M. Cioran

On the Heights of Despair (1934)

by E. M. Cioran

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This is my first exposure to Cioran, and he has enough of an arresting style that I plan to check out more of his books. The adolescent despair on display here charmed me for a while, but by the end of the (quite short) book I was getting tired of it. I did find Cioran to be compulsively readable and adorably misanthropic, and I look forward to reading some of his more mature work. ( )
  breadhat | Jul 23, 2013 |
What a waste of a good prose style! Cioran is a repetitive farting windbag of nihilism and misanthropy. I've been through too much suffering to be a nihilist anymore.

I could not even recommend this to angsty adolescents to distract them from misinterpreting Nietzsche. Those who might truly sympathize with it are those who have undergone major depression, and to give them a work so encouraging of death would be an act of criminal negligence. Perhaps in its own circumventing way, this book affirms one's personal meaning for existence. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Titled aphorisms, with "Introduction: Imagining Cioran" by the brilliant translator. ( )
  keylawk | Dec 30, 2012 |
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Perché non possiamo restare chiusi in noi stessi?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0226106713, Paperback)

Imagine walking across a tightrope suspended high in the summer air above a bay flooded in the mauve glow of sunset, the music of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" surrounding you. Now imagine the tightrope is actually razor-wire, and gusts of wind challenge every tortuous step into sublime infinity. This is the paradox of emotions one feels when reading On the Heights of Despair, the paradigmatic cry of the tortured artist whose explosive intensity of passion is equaled only by the profundity of his despair. In this hauntingly lyrical meditation on darkness, stemming from a sustained insomniac hyper-lucidity, E. M. Cioran cries out a devastating nihilism that is in the end betrayed by his own intransigent lust for being. Compels reading and rereading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:33 -0400)

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