Romanian essayist, philosopher & hypernihilist :
Born in 1911 in Rasinari, Romania, the son of a Greek Orthodox priest. In adolescence, he lost his childhood in the country and was moved to the city. He also lost his religion. He was educated at Bucharest University. During this period he suffered from long bouts of insomnia and passed sleepless nights wandering the streets.
In 1937 he moved to Paris on scholarship from the French Institute in Bucharest. While there he wrote, mainly brief
essays, reflections and 'aphorisms' under such titles as The Temptation To Exist, A Short History Of Decay and The Trouble With Being Born. Befriended Samuel Beckett, who eventually lost sympathy with his
pessimism. Beckett, about whom Cioran wrote so vividly in Anathemas And Admirations, introduced him to the English
language, though he wrote primarily in Romanian and French.
Late in life he gave up writing, not wanting to "slander the universe" anymore. According to his obituary in The Guardian, June 23, 1995, William Gass called Cioran's writing "a philosophical romance on modern themes of alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease."
- Tell me how you want to die, and I'll tell you who you are, Tears and Saints, p. 86
- Time is the framework for seeking solutions; death is the solution, ibid., p. 101
- Read day and night, devour books- these sleeping pills- not to know but to forget, ibid. p. 117
- The only people who must forget a lot are those who have suffered a lot. Normal people are the only ones who have nothing to forget, Heights of Despair, p. 108
- Eternity does not lead to the triumph of either good or evil ; it ravages all, ibid., p. 63.
- Whatever induces collapse is thereby deserving of being listened to, Anathemas and Admirations, p. 111.
- To rid oneself of life is to deprive oneself the pleasure of deriding it, ibid., p. 111