Emil M. Cioran

Emil M.

Austria-Hungary-born Romanian Philosopher and Essayist

Author Quotes

For the man who has got in the nasty habit of unmasking appearances, event and misunderstanding are synonyms. To make for the essential is to throw up the game, to admit one is defeated.

I have never taken myself for a being. A non-citizen, a marginal type, a nothing who exists only by the excess, by the superabundance of his nothingness.

Impossible to spend sleepless nights and accomplish anything: if, in my youth, my parents had not financed my insomnias, I should surely have killed myself.

Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui.

My mission is to kill time, and time's to kill me in its turn. How comfortable one is among murderers.

One cannot live without motives. I have no motives left, and I am living.

Russia - immensity and suffocation.

The curtain of the universe is moth-eaten, and through its holes we see nothing now but mask and ghost.

The task of the solitary man is to be even more solitary.

To have committed every crime but that of being a father.

Utopia is a mixture of childish rationalism and secularized angelism.

We understand God by everything in ourselves that is fragmentary, incomplete, and inopportune.

When we cannot be delivered from ourselves, we delight in devouring ourselves.

You will suffer from everything, and to excess: the winds will seem gales; every touch a dagger; smiles, slaps; trifles, cataclysms. Waking may come to an end, but its light survives within you; one does not see in the dark with impunity, one does not gather its lessons without danger; there are eyes which can no longer learn anything from the sun, and souls afflicted by nights from which they will never recover.

For you who no longer possess it, freedom is everything, for us who do, it is merely an illusion.

I have no nationality - the best possible status for an intellectual.

In a republic, that paradise of debility, the politician is a petty tyrant who obeys the laws.

Life inspires more dread than death - it is life which is the great unknown.

My weaknesses have spoiled my existence, but it is thanks to them that I exist, that I imagine I exist

One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no other.

Saints live in flames, wisemen, next to them.

The desire to die was my one and only concern; to it I have sacrificed everything, even death.

The Universal view melts things into a blur.

To live is to lose ground.

Vague a l'ame - melancholy yearning for the end of the world.

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Emil M.
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Austria-Hungary-born Romanian Philosopher and Essayist