The Trouble with Being Born By E M Cioran

E M Cioran ½ 6 read

A love of Cioran creates an urge to press his writing into someones hand, and is followed by an equal urge to pull it away as poison.The New YorkerIn this volume, which reaffirms the uncompromising brilliance of his mind, Cioran strips the human condition down to its most basic components, birth and death, suggesting that disaster lies not in the prospect of death but in the fact of birth, 'that laughable accident.' In the lucid, aphoristic style that characterizes his work, Cioran writes of time and death, God and religion, suicide and suffering, and the temptation to silence. Through sharp observation and patient contemplation, Cioran cuts to the heart of the human experience.In the company of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.'Publishers Weekly'No modern writer twists the knife with Cioran's dexterity His writing. is informed with the bitterness of genuine compassion.'Boston Phoenix The Trouble with Being Born

A sort of cry of the lost. A very dark collection of short aphorisms, sometimes so dark as to be kind of hilarious. For the most part, Cioran’s thoughts are clearly presented and interesting, but there’s also the occasional aphorism that was a little too obscure or personal for me to completely grasp his meaning. Despite the basically unrelenting darkness of the book, I didn’t find it overwhelming or an especially depressing read, mainly because Cioran’s trying to describe his feelings and impressions, not necessarily trying to convince you that he’s correct in his observations. I enjoyed it! English Narcissistic, aphoristic, petulant 'thoughts' of no import. Surprised Richard Howard was part of this. This the undergraduate journal we started and had the sense to toss.

Here's a representative example: 'The flayed man as theoretician of detachmentThe conversionary as skeptic'

There's worse but you don't have to finish the bottle to know that it's piss. English I take a perverse amount of joy from Cioran’s writing. It is as though wordless, shapeless concepts that tormented me from the darkened periphery of my mind suddenly had a spotlight turned on them. Seeing these ideas laid bare in such detail makes them manifest, makes them real and solid in such a way that I can push back from them, like the wall of a swimming pool. Profoundly cathartic. Not many would recommend Cioran to major depressives but it’s worked for me. If our absurd human existence truly functions as Cioran observed (and it rings true to my experience), any meaning or purpose, any ecstasy in the act of living, is some sort of cosmic thievery born of vanity or some other personal vice. Which is fine. Virtue is always fleeting, vice is indelible. Feeling like I’m getting away with something by feeling good makes me feel even better. English What Emil Cioran shows us is that the central existential problem is birth, not death. It is in having to face existence, with our experiences riveted to it, not death, that calls us forth to philosophy, literature, art and poetry. I believe that the event of birth provides the engaging task for philosophy than does death because there can be no phenomenology of death. This is the case because death is quite literally nothing as Epicurus tells us, there is no experience to explore, thus there can be no phenomenology of experience in the case of death. Death is nothing but dying is something. It is the last outpost of experience to which birth condemns us. Birth, not death, is the central experience of human existence. Birth leads to life which includes dying. There is no mastering death because there is no mastering birth.

Emil Cioran also shows us that disappointment comes from the anxiety, and perhaps even the knowledge that we cannot come to an explanation, understanding or phenomenology of birth without finding the whole thing to be simply ridiculous; we are not be able to come to an explanation of birth other than to find that it was some sort of error, or at least contingent on a host of bizarre causes, not the least of which being the lustful desires of two other people and a random coming together of genetic material. Why am I myself is another part of this existential question. Everything about me is unlikely, yet here I am. So much about what is fundamentally me could have been different and is dependent on the most quotidian casual factors, even mere happenstance and circumstances, such as two particular people meeting, perhaps randomly, when they met, where they met, when they decided to have a sexual union, whether or not they decided to marry, where they decided to reside, what occupations they chose, what religion, if any, they practiced etc. The smallest changes in any of these mundane and even insignificant causes of me would result in the most fundamental and transformative changes in who turned out to be me. In short, other people rolled the dice without my consent and here I am. This is an example of how cause and effect are nonlinear. That is, the smallest changes in the starting condition can translate into highly disproportionate differences in the outcome. This is known as chaos theory where minor inputs into the system (existence in this case) can lead to a major difference in the result. Failure to recognize this nonlinearity prevents people from comprehending the random nature of existence. Yes, I will die, so what of what? At least in my case, I have found that Fate has not been without a sense of humor and perhaps this just is what makes the whole stupid thing tolerable, the utter humor in existing and being aware of it. Cioran shows us that without humor, existence would be even intolerable than its already is, but this is a humor without laughter.

To paraphrase Cioran (from p. 92): Isn't consciousness burden enough? We must also lug around a body? To this I would add that it is an irrational body opposed to unity and lacking coherence making life an example of living decomposition an alien garment of flesh. But wait, from my perspective, it is not the case we have a body, it is the case we just are a body. English I liked this book because it is making me relate to Emil Cioran's life. I am suffering from horrible insomnia for about a year at the age of nineteen and, his books are centered around and were morphed out of his insomniac experience. It was the worst illness he has ever experienced in his life and, any thoughts that he has on the topic make me feel better that I hate it as much as he did. Even though I think I have been damaged worse by it than him, I believe it was a hell that he experienced painfully as well. Even though this book is mostly about anti natilism and that is what most people buy the book for, he does talk about insomnia a bit in these books as well. Even though he would have despised it, I admire him a lot. I understand the anxieties, the horror in sleeplessness and I have not gotten out of it. The mental problems he had which nowadays they would label him as I relate to him in that aspect; he is just a intelligent version of the many struggles we all face. English

200+ pages of brilliantly pessimistic, sardonic and strangely uplifting aphorisms. Peculiar thoughts from a peculiar mind. You can feel the cogs reluctantly and relentlessly going round and round producing stains of enigmatic wisdom.
An example: I suppressed word after word from my vocabulary. When the massacre was over, only one word had escaped: Solitude. I awakened euphoric. English If you want to read something nihilistic you came to the right place. I enjoyed the fresh air. No one is going to hold your hand in this book. It is as it is. You die and in twenty years or so no one will recall you. You live your life as the myth of Sisyphus. You may find an enjoyable flower or sunset along the way enjoy it. Stop worrying about things you have no control over you silly fools. English Deep material. I read small sections at a time. English As book of quotes from Cioran. If you are a fan of Cioran then reading one or two quotes as you slip off into your troubled dreams just adds a little spice into the dark corners of your psyche. A great book if you are a misanthrope or currently dealing with a life threatening disease. Cheers! English And he wouldn't thank me for a review! English