Emil M. Cioran

Emil M.

Austria-Hungary-born Romanian Philosopher and Essayist

Author Quotes

I feel I am free but I know I am not.

If, at the limit, you can rule without crime, you cannot do so without injustices.

Jealousy - that jumble of secret worship and ostensible aversion.

Mind, even more deadly to empires than to individuals, erodes them, compromises their solidity.

Nothing is tragic. Everything is unreal.

Reality is a creation of our excesses.

That history just unfolds, independently of a specified direction, of a goal, no one is willing to admit.

The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.

To devastate by language, to blow up the word and with it the world.

Truths begin by a conflict with the police - and end by calling them in.

We interest others by the misfortune we spread around us.

What to think of other people? I ask myself this question each time I make a new acquaintance. So strange does it seem to me that we exist, and that we consent to exist.

Years and years to waken from that sleep in which the others loll; then years and years to scape that awakening...

I feel safer with a Pyrrho than with a St. Paul.

Illusion begets and sustains the world; we do not destroy one without destroying the other. Which is what I do every day. An apparently ineffectual operation, since I must begin all over again the next day.

Knowledge subverts love: in proportion as we penetrate our secrets, we come to loathe our kind, precisely because they resemble us.

Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.

Nothing proves that we are more than nothing.

Reason is a whore, surviving by simulation, versatility, and shamelessness.

The "west" - what curse has fallen upon it that at the term of its trajectory it produces only these businessmen, these shopkeepers, these racketeers with their blank stares and atrophied smiles... is it with such vermin as this that a civilization so delicate and so complex must come to an end?

The only way of enduring one disaster after the next is to love the very idea of disaster: if we succeed, there are no further surprises, we are superior to whatever occurs, we are invincible victims.

To exist is a habit I do not despair of acquiring.

Tyranny destroys or strengthens the individual; freedom enervates him, until he becomes no more than a puppet. Man has more chances of saving himself by hell than by paradise.

We must censure the later Nietzsche for a panting excess in the writing, the absence of rests.

What we crave, what we want to see in others eyes, is that servile expression, an unconcealed infatuation with our gestures.

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