Cioran and Dostoievsky

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In the context of the 20-th century novel, dominated by figures like Balzac or Victor Hugo, Dostoievski appears like a very radical authority so that he can be proclaimed a literary case but au author lacks a traditional literary lineage. If a Goethe, through ,,The Sufferings of Young Werther” updates the transition from classicism to romanticism through the prose so how will do it later by means of the poetic and dramatic in Faust – We can attend to Hugo at the maturity of the romanticism.

At the same time, forms of realism and complex polyphonyc are stated and proven by Balzac. Then in continuity with Balzac, but amplifying his sceptic sap, a Flaubert and a Maupassant will be able to make the transition from the realism to naturalism by amplifying the aesthetic deliberate of a tragic tension. (however), that tragic tension, of the fiber which was originated in romanticism, it is completely outdated and defied by the work’s abyssis of F.M. Dostoievski.

Dostoievski’s prose is haunted in such a measure by the apocalyptical elements, constituied in phenomenology of a delirium so that he would seem to keep to a much greater extent, by the modern novel of the 20-th than the authors who have dominated the literary space of the 19-th century. This revolution that Dostoievski challenged beyond all the forms of writing of Goethe and Byron, would not have been possible without catastrophic perception on the history and human destiny. Related with Düer frights and of all the prophets of disaster, Dostoievski will have, but by contrast with these, the model of holiness and simplicity of grace as the antithesis of energy unleashed by the darkness of the human psychology.

Dostoievski’s anthropology is Christian in a fundamental sense, from which the lukewarms are excluded, staying in the game only those who can carry the ontological weight of extremes. At Dostoievski , between disaster and holiness there is no alternative, and the medium term, the one who could founded a reasonable bourgeois life, always hide behind insoluble tension and the inner fractures. Dostoievski’s characters are not always from the right world, but neither rude people.

The preferential universe of Dostoievski is moving between worn-out aristocrats and bourgeoises (even when they still have an honorable and material situation) and characters found at the social periphery, that gain frustrations which intensify their vanity. From among the aristocrats would take part, for example, Stavroghin, a prince that has served in the army and whose intelectual and psychological strength superior to those surroundring leads, the destinies to the disaster like an invisible hand, but with the frightful.

From different angles of view, Satov and Kirilov are the moral victims of the metaphysical vanity of Stavroghin. Another well-to-do character, although having a destiny and a psyhology of parvem, is Feodor Pavlonici Karamazov, the father of the brothers Karamazov, killed by the bastard that he conceived with a madwoman. In the end, a third character that has a considerable social reputation-Svidrigailov consumes his lechery paroxisticaly and hidden from the eyes of society. Generally, at Dostoievski honourable people are gnawed by their hidden passion and disgrace.

Another category of characters is represented by human failures, without the horizon, buryed in misery and moral promiscuity Marmelador’s drinking bouts, that are constantly accompanied by remorse and shame, bordered in a contradictory way, the moral depravity with her consciousness and with a genuine and a tremendous love for people. Dostoievski’s passionates may reveal all of a sudden the human demision of great strength and beauty. This thing appears, more obvious, in the case of Dimitri Karamazov, a character haunted by passions, so irrational in his distructive accesses as far as in the sincerity and strength that he can love. Free from moral falsity, as well as speculative mood, Mitea Karamazov can’t become, but a victim, of fate leding in the back besides the tension of an unfulfilled love, a blame which doesn’t belong to him.

The theme of the universal and collective guilt of humanity, the preferential theme for Russian Theology, will be an obsession even for Dostoievski. Beside the fact that Dostoievski is a phychologist of high strength and depth, it is also the one who knows to paint the promiscuity and misery, with an unprecedented force till he. The misery in which Raskolnikov lived, or Snegirev with his children, or the misery that will pull Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladev to suicide has such dimensions, as her descriptions surpasses completely the function of a social and moralizing prose, turning it into a process tacitly lawsuit Providence. This tension related to the teodicee will be explicitly formulated by Ivan Karamazov. The category of Ivan is represented by the individual type gifted with an exceptional intelligence and having the consciousness of superiority, gets touched by cynism and a pride, sometimes emphatically.

Almost always, these characters are predestined to an existential religious paths whether this trajectory ended by a conversion or a total failure. The moment of delirium is here undoubtedly speculated by Dostoievski, the madness as part of the complexity wich the hell induces in man. Trugh very subtle mentaly mentally dissociations. The release of these revealing of the Inferno can be achieved only through a return, without reservation by faith. This is the problem with which it is faced Ivan whose visions pushed him on the brink of the precipice. This is also the problem with which it is faced Raskolnikov, where the delirium and fever is unleashed by the horror of the crime amplified by her reflection in consciousness, finding their solution hardly in the quietness that bring expiation and repentance.

Another character with a superior and speculative inteligence, Stavroghin, fails in front of conversion exam, ending by commithing suicide. All these contradictions are becoming the expression of a double skill and power of penetration: on the one hand the power to probe de nuances of the human soul without the bashfulnesses and fears that the official theology holds in front of Transcendent, and on the outher hand, strength query fundamentals as we instrumented destiny courage you give only the prospect of the final metaphysic views. The vision is, in fact, the tank of the whole dostoievskian thinking. That’s why we have to do a short digression concerning the ontological structures that support the metaphysical horizon of his nevel. We can indentify a first unexplained thesis of the dostoievskian novel , according to the owner of abyss is the one that determins the collective and individual history of humanity. Russia was anyway liable to generate such visions. Making abstraction of the geograph of Russia, whose extension is by its very nature to induce the idea of the infinite, we can say as a people who has such a religions and transcendental feeling of beauty, as the Russian people, takes the form of a tragic collectivity which can, trough historical dimensions and proportions, to aspire to an apocalyptic status. Russian history is one in which disaster and the hope of saving are antinomic related. Even the Russian bolshevism can’t be correctly understand without such an apocalyptic horizon. To talk about abyss in Russia it means to talk about infinite and the space hunger of Russian people is related to this metaphysical equation. The correlation that exists between Abyss and the infinite gives Russia the eschatological horizon, supplying at the same time messianism . From this nature will result the dostoievskian work as an emblem of Russian spirit. What Russian lived at a historical sale, Dostoievski’s characters will update in their destiny. Every dostoievskian character is a focused history of Russia and a metaphysics full expression of the way in wich Russia has assumed Christianity. Assuming the sensitivity which excludes the rigid and compulsioness structure of the concept intensifying in the Russian man the emotional anarchy and paroxysm anarchy of experiences, the pushing to the extrem the existential balance.

Grew up in an era of reviriment of the affirmation of irrationalism in the Cartesian scientific spirit, damage having a master as Nae Ionescu, Cioran will ful justified in cultivation of extremes Reason, we know from Nietzcsche, and equally a from Greeks, tempers the emotional extremes, having the meaving and significance of an emotional moderator. To be rational in the Greek sense it, means not only being convered deductive, but also to be sober, to practice a system of living, finisht to have the sense of limit. This is the point in which the Russian spirit will defy all the dates of the way in which Greeks has performed reasoning . Cioran will adhere, withont reserves to the Russian model, seeing in any, form of sensitivity mediated rationally am expression of mediocrity affective.

You can`t be, according to Cioran, brilliant, in order of the heart, as long as you continue to have sylogistical scruples.

The two orders of the spirit would not only be in alterity, ont also in a mutual exclusion. To unleash, however, the emotion, withont a rational principle of limitation does not assume you directly the abyss experience. Here, Cioran feels in an existential and metaphysic solidarity wich characters who populate Dostoievski`s universe. Dostoievski is present in Cioran , verywhere where the Romanian thinker desert from the shirt of strength of the French stylistic, from the outrageous asthetic spirit of France. There, where Cioran affords to be lyrical, in a language in which even the lyricism must ensure the stylisties facade penetrates, in fact, dostoievskian parentage, the slav spirit strength.

The revelation abyss is not only an obsession of the Russian spirit, she is raised at the rank go a concept, so by the renan mystic,as well as by Heidegger. The Meister Eckar, the deitate (Gottheit) is also abyss (Abgrund) and the Iacob Bohme the abisal nature of Diviness is reveling entirely like an absence of basis (Ungrund).

Finally, the last that subject before Cioran, the abyss, is Heidegger. In the study ,,About the essence of the grounds”, Heidegger speaks about the relation ship between liberty and abyss this being understood as the ebsence of the ground. Likewise, in the heideggeriene commentaries at Holderlin is connected to the absence of the grounds with the night time base. Between time and Abgrund would exist an ontological privacy. At the same time the abyss is the ontological sphere of revelation of the anxiety and implicitly of the no-being. That’s why the relation ship between abyss and the revelation of nothingness could become a premise not only for the phenomenology which succeeds to Heidegger, but for any form of extension of nihilistic epoch of the metaphysical plane. Cioran is, probably, the last author of the comtempotary era that makes the transition from psychology to metaphisics when he subject the abyss.

Psichologicaly, the abyss is invoked in connection with psycho-analysis, named even abyssal psychology, sounds the deeper layers of unconsicious ,the unconsicious that can be personal (Freud) or collective (Jung). Regardless of the depth of psycho-analytics investigation, the psychological dimension of uncounsciousness remains one deliberately sheltered from the metaphysical connotations . The abyssal characteristic cioranian consist precisely in the surplus presence of such kind of connotations. As for Heidegger, the abyss will become a phenomenological concept, jonction for Cioran the abyss would be in the point affectivity with the human cosmic and metaphisic. Something pascalian from the anxiety in front of infinite survives in the cioranian abyss. Abyss is also the access point to the Cioran’s Russian nihilism Dostoievski is, undoubtedly, the autor that leads to an end the consequences of this phenomenon. Stavroghin, Kirilov, Ivan Karamazov, in a certain sense Mitea Karamazov , Rascolnikov or Svidrigoilov are all human destinies suspendend over the abyss. One of the consequences of this suspensions is the taste for catrastrophe. Whether it’s lived individualy or collectively the catastrophe is in the Russian sense totally and irreversible it means apocalyptical. An author as Cioran, who extracted the most subtle nuances of apofatism like to reveal that separate the time distance of divinity, could not remain insensitive to the most constatent form in which abyss updated in Europe: Russian nihilism. In addition this nihilism has the entire lyrical essence that Cioran needed, as a complementary term of the Frech stylistic refinement and as the essence of his distrees. That is why Dostoievski becomes not only an author frequented by Cioran, but even a model in matter of nihilism besides Schopenhauer, Baudelaire or Turgheniev.

Nihilism, however, is a metaphysic position that denounces, at least in the european sense, a reference to Transcedent. In the metaphysic history of Europe, Gorgian’s nihilism, for instance, has awaken the reply of Transcendence asserted by Platon. In the helenistic epoch, in continuity with Plotinus, the Areopagite will wark with the indentity of Transcendence and thinking of nothingness. On the same line with Eckart or Nicolaus Cusanns in Unconditionnally a coincidence of affirmation with negation. Finally, Hegel has proclaimed the identity of the pure Being with the pure Nothingness. Heidegger has tied the Transcendence thought to the one of nothingness in the (university) lecture: ,,What is metaphysics?”. The major points of the western metaphysics have marked the correlation and present solidarity between Transcendence nothingness. The apologetic had, however, a deep and extension echo in Russian mystic. Yet, there exists, a substantial apofatic accent of this mysticism. Further the apofatism is the reason why the Russians will be receptive to the German metaphisics spirit, especially to Hegel. (One) Berdyaev will encourage, for instance, that freedom precedes the being in Divinity, resorting to an entire succession of references and borrowings from the German mysticism the concept of Ungrund that, as we noted before it is placed in circulation by Jacob Bohme and will be invoked by Berdiaev as a basis of the thesis of the metaphysical forwer of freedom. This apofatic source that places a personal abyss in a privileged position in front of an absolute affirmation it is a specific feature of the Russian spirit and his Weltanschamng. This apofatic horizon that encouranges the absence of the grounds it’s the space of confirmation of the existence and freedom and sets up after all, the substance of the dostoievskian creation. That’s why, at Dostoievki the apofatic correlation between Transcendence, abyss and nothingness. For, Dostoievski the apofatic Transcendence is revealed through the preliminary experimental of nothingness, as well as for Heidegger the Angst, as a revelation of nothingness, will constitute the foundation of Transcendence. By all means , the senses of Transcendence at Heidegger are different from the theological ones to which Dostoievski resorts to. However, commonly it remains the vicinity of the nothingness as the prelude of Transcendence for Dostoievsky, transcendence has a clear soteriologyc connotation, even if this connotation is hardly revealed in the moments of some paroxistic tensious. The revelation of salvation by itself, in limited situations keeps the dynamic of a lost paradise condition. The Saint, for Cioran is not the one who shows us an eshatonic purpose of salvation, but rather a remanence of the lost paradise, a stray term from another world in our sublunar universe. The Saint will make Cioran’s in a great measure, musical ecstasies and transfiguration of eros than the feeling of one counter point to the man’s existential tensious. For Cioran, the Saint doesn’t solve anything for those that cannot place themselves from the beginning in his own horizon. In spite of all this, the Saint remains the most living presence of Transcendente in the world. This Transcendente still present through some priviledged exemples, thet touches the hollines, anticipates the horizon of an end to the history, because this form of temporality that it is history, in a last sense, incompatible with the logic of sacred.

The Saint is an anticipated eschatological presence, an announcement that Eternity does to time, heralding the end. That’s why, the problem of holiness is directly or intercedenly related to the problem of prophetism whatever its about conceveing temporaly in a cycle system or in a linear system , whatever of the fact that the prophetic vision reveals a periodical extinction or a complete one of the world, the propheteism is always the priviledged of the chosen ones, of the characters that passes an exceptional spirit of giftness. Making abstraction of the old-testamentary prophetism, zoroastrism, hindoos and even buddhism know a prophetic pledge in the sacred canons. The prophetic visionarism finds its synthetic expression in John’s Apocalypse. He has exercised a great influence concerning the western culture. The visions of the four knights of disaster were the ones that have fed the graphic of Durer, the painting of Hyeronumus Bosch or the apolyptical visions of the Sixtin Chapel. But, in a most wearer sense of the eventful source of Europe history fed, the idea of an eschatology has constlantly fed Utopia. We can interpret the Utopia as forms of an eschatology embezzled in history. Berdiaev recognizes even in Marxism a more, elaborate form a natural projection of the Christian eschatology.

Dostoievsky becomes prophetic in the moment in which he joined hallucination with consciousness. Delorious visions leved, anyway, in the state of perfect awakness prove to be the substance of the prophetic dostoievskian dimension. In „The Demons” Dostoievsky anticipates, through a labyrinth of hints and symbols, Russia’s disaster after 1917. But undoubtedly the moment of maximum prophetic opening to Dostoievsky is present in „Karamazov Brothers”, in the chapter „The Great Inquisitor”. A gloomy vision about history penetrates from the rows of this image in which Rome (through its armed hand – Spain) colludes with the Inferno and in which the dream of a secular building of society ends to be humiliated in front of this Inferno of the clergy, named to lead the destinies of humanity problem of freedom is the theme of this chapter, where the extreme metaphysical principles, divinity on the one hand, the Inferno on the other hand, are confronting themselves in a tragedy without solution and without horizon. Dostoievsky is prophetical, but, remarkable through the accuracy of his foreseeing. If Marx standed that the order suggested by himself would succeed to be affirmed in the most developed countries of production bourgeois, Dostoievsky felt more correctly, the fact that Russia will become the carrier of disaster that would come.

From the dostoievskian intuitions, Cioran could start his collection of esays entiled „History and Utopia”. Seeing very deeply the way in which eschatology, deviated naturaly, can generate utiopias, and can even produce genus utopian Cioran will identify a genuine reading key of the Russia history by reading the Apocalypse. After Cioran not even an empire from the history doesn’t completly expresses the race of humanity of the planet towards disaster. Having too much space, Russia loses the sense of measure and implicitly the sense of limit, threatening, after Cioran, to swallow the planet. The fact that the most substantial part of the cioranian prophetism is related to Russia and its historical destiny, determines us to uphold a certain affinity, to this prophetism with the dostoievskian’s visions, while it carries the meaning of revivel in the affinity of a crisis of history which are of no random value, but constitutive one. This perception of an historical time that is constantly modelled by contradictions without a solution will feed the sense of transhistorical hope of the Christian eschatology. In the horizon of this eschatology, will be possible both Dostoievski and Cioran. If Dostoievski could foreseen, behind the hallucinanting horrors that were revealing to himself, an ultimate sense of love, Cioran would see in these disaster, the expression of the last word in the problem of theodicy.

If Cioran and Dostoievski have the same metaphysical horizon they differ in the way in which it is valuated, by meaning or lack of sense that governs the history of humanity. In essence, Cioran becomes the representative of an Apocalypse without a soteriology stuck in distress and darkness.

                                                                                          VASILE CHIRA                                                                                Ph.D.In Philosophy
                           Lecturer at the”Andrei Saguna” Faculty of Teology
                                     “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu,Romania