Spike Magazine, November 1, 1997
Stephen Mitchelmore explains why the writing of E.M. Cioran refuses explanation
“Nothing is more irritating than those works which ‘co-ordinate’ the luxuriant products of a mind that has focused on just about everything except a system.”
What is there to know about Emile Cioran? He was born in Romania, in 1911, the son of a Greek Orthodox priest. In adolescence, he lost his childhood in the country and was moved to the city. He also lost his religion. For years he didn’t sleep – until he took up cycling. He passed sleepless nights wandering the dodgy streets of an obscure Romanian city. In 1937 he moved to Paris and wrote, producing what are generally classified as ‘aphorisms’, collected together under such titles as The Temptation To Exist, A Short History Of Decay and The Trouble With Being Born. He knew Samuel Beckett, who eventually lost sympathy with his pessimism. Late in life he gave up writing, not wanting to “slander the universe” anymore, and died a few years later after an encounter with an over-excited dog.
I hope none of this helps… [+]