“A love of Cioran creates an urge to press his writing into someone’s hand, and is followed by an equal urge to pull it away as poison.”—The New Yorker
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. 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
About the Author
E. M. Cioran left his native land of Romania for Paris in the late 1930s, where he lived and wrote until his death in 1995. His many books include Anathemas and Admirations, A Short History of Decay, and The Trouble with Being Born.
Richard Howard is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Untitled Subjects, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970. He is the translator for more than 150 works from the French language. He received the American Book Award for his translation of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal.