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."