Cioran Touts Truth
By E.M. Cioran, Translated by Richard Howard
Arcade Publishing, 14.95, 272 pages
Philosopher and essayist E. M. Cioran has been heralded as one of the great philosophers of the 20th century. In this book, Cioran presents essays on writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Paul Valery, which he terms “admirations.” “Anathemas” are also present; these are the author’s notes and insights into life, God, disappointment, friendship, vanity, and many other aspects.
“Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.”
Reading Cioran’s admirations is pleasant. It is obvious he is a man of intelligence who respects those he feels deserve it, and derides the rest. It is through the anathemas that the reader gets a real feel for the individual behind these writings. At one point Cioran is hopeful, the next despondent, rebelling against all of humanity.
Anathemas and Admirations is a fantastic book to pick up and read during a few moments of downtime. It should be savored slowly, but it is well worth the time, not only for the truth put forth within it, but for the insight it provides into Cioran’s mind and heart.
Reviewed By Andrew Keyser