In 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.
In all his writing, Cioran cuts to the heart of the human experience.
Raised under the rule of a father who was a Romanian Orthodox priest and a mother who was prone to depression, Cioran wrote his first five books in Romanian.
Some of these are collections of brief essays; others are collections of aphorisms.
Suffering from insomnia since his adolescent years in Sibiu, the young Cioran studied philosophy in the “little Paris” of Bucharest.
In his highly controversial book, “The Transfiguration of Romania” published in 1937, Cioran, who was at that time close to the Romanian fascists, violently criticized his country and his compatriots on the basis of contrast between such “little nations” as Romania, which were contemptible from the perspective of universal history and great nations, such as France or Germany, which took their destiny into their own hands.
After spending two years in Germany, Cioran arrived in Paris in 1936. He continued to write in Romanian until the early 1940s. He wrote his last article in Romanian in 1943, which is also the year in which he began writing in French.