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Cioran, Emil (1911–95)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-N110-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved January 18, 2022, from

Article Summary

Emil Cioran published during his lifetime sixteen books, the first six in his native Romanian, the other ten in French. He was awarded many literary prizes (including Rivarol, Saint-Beuve, Combat and Nimier); he accepted only one, the Rivarol Prize, for the first book he wrote in French, Précis de décomposition. Self-proclaimed ‘the sceptic on duty in a world in decline’, Cioran wrote mostly about his obsessions: despair, solitude, suicide, decay, death, history, utopia, God, music, the decline of the Western world, literature, boredom, freedom, exile, alienation, lucidity, and the absurdity and futility of human existence. In most of his writings one can detect the same tragic vision of human being – a ‘heresy of nature’ whose history is devoid of any sense. Cioran’s works in French were praised by many French critics and writers, and in 1986 L’Express magazine declared him ‘the greatest French prosateur of today’.

Citing this article:
Partenie, Catalin D.. Cioran, Emil (1911–95), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N110-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.

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