Cioran – A Dionysiac with the voluptuousness of doubt
by Ion Dur (Baia Mare Northern University Centre, Romania)
Since its inception philosophical thought has been fixated by death. Death, as much as life, has been the unrelenting driving force behind some of history’s greatest thinkers. Yet, for Emil Cioran, a Romanian-French philosopher, even philosophy cannot attempt to understand nor contain the inevitable unknown.
Considered to be an anti-philosopher, Cioran approached and reflected on the human experience with a despairing pessimism. His works are characterised by a brooding, fatalistic temperament that reveals and defines itself in his irony, black humour and inimitable style. Although Cioran’s later works have received much scholarly recognition, little attention has been paid to the texts he wrote in his adolescent.
Grounded in the historical context of interwar Romania, this book presents for the first time an analysis of the little-known works of this pioneering Romanian thinker. Deeply affected by his upbringing, this book offers a glimpse into Cioran’s first attempts to delve into philosophical enterprise, before turning its attention to his later works, On the Heights of Despair (1934), The Transfiguration of Romania (1936) and Twilight of thoughts (1940; written in France). Using both the French and Romanian editions of these works, but also their original manuscripts, this volume seeks to provide a re-reading that takes language rather than a social or political critique as its focal point. As an important and provocative contribution to the existing literature on Cioran, this book will be an essential point of reference for students and researchers, alike.
Part I According to the original
Chapter 1 Shortcuts
Chapter 2 The ambiguity of the epistolary self
Chapter 3 The erotic adolescence of a septuagenarian
Chapter 4 Impervious to the “French spirit”
Chapter 5 The tragic overture
Chapter 6 Bouts of insomnia
Chapter 7 The irrational, symbolic culture and a eulogy of madness
Chapter 8 Between falling in time and falling into the temporal
Chapter 9 Against “national drowsiness” – Cioran versus Cioran –
Chapter 10 Waiting for Cioran's reply
Part II Restitutions
Nationalism, Socialism, Judaism
About the Author
Index of Proper Names
Professor Ion Dur, PhD, teaches in the Doctoral School of Philosophy at the Baia Mare Northern University Centre, Romania. During his academic career, he has been the recipient of numerous literary awards including the “Mircea Florian” prize for philosophy awarded by the Romanian Academy and seven awards for published books from the National Writers Union of Romania. Professor Dur has published extensively in his field including The Third Meaning (2014), Cioran. According to the original (2016), Critique of Judgement of Taste (2017) and Domestic journal. Note of an in-former (2018). He has also produced translations of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (Humanitas Publishing House, 1994; a collaboration with Mircea Ivănesc) and The Crisis of the Republic, (Humanitas Publishing House, 1999; a collaboration with D.-I. Cenuşer). His areas of research interest are the History of Philosophy the History of Romanian Culture, Aesthetics, Literary and Philosophy Criticism, Media Critique, and Romanian Media and Collective Mentality in the 19th and 20th centuries.