“Explorers of the negative — Comparing Lars Norén and Emil Cioran” (Björn Apelkvist)


ABSTRACT. The article outlines a comparison between the renown contemporary Swedish dramatist Lars Norén (1944-) and the Romanian philosopher and writer Emil Cioran (1911-1995). When put next to each other as creative persons, Norén and Cioran reveal similarities that may appear as both striking and exciting. Both of them are often accused of pessimism, but actually seem equally driven by motivations that profoundly contradict such criticism. It is an extreme authenticity and not an obsession with the negative in itself that unites them. Norén always aims – through the medium of theatre – to present an incentive to understand everything about oneself, to complete insight so to say. Cioran on his part was mainly driven by the urge to become, in his own words, the most clear-sighted human being alive, leading the reader therapeutically in the same direction. Furthermore, their common critical attitude towards publicity and similar inclination for drastic creative renewal is discussed.