“Democracy is for the gods” (Costica Bradatan)

The New York Times, July 5 2019 It should be no surprise that humans cannot sustain it. “Why do democracies fail?” We’ve heard that question a lot in the past few years, in books, on opinion pages and cable news shows, and in an increasingly anxious public debate. But I almost always find myself answering…

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“In praise of failure” (Costica Bradatan)

The New York Times, December 15, 2013 If there was ever a time to think seriously about failure, it is now. Costica Bradatan is an associate professor in the Honors College at Texas Tech University and the religion and comparative studies editor for The Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the author of the forthcoming Dying…

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“The problem of the absent God” (John Weightman)

The New York Times, May 23, 1976 These two books are almost twins, although at first sight they may appear very remote from each other, since they emerge from very different cultural backgrounds. Both authors are now in their early sixties and use French as their literary language, though it is not in the full…

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“When Adam ate the apple, God lost His head” (Peter Caws)

The New York Times, March 14, 1971 E. M. Cioran, two among whose half‐dozen books are now, with the publication of “The Fall Into Time,” available in English, is a brilliant and original exponent of a rare genre, the philosophical essay. The taste for such writing, and especially for Cioran’s, can for most of us…

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“Counting the ‘Blessings’ of Insomnia” (Gordon Marino)

The New York Times, March 29, 2010 Drip, drip, drip — that’s what insomniac thoughts feel like, a leaky faucet behind the eyes. Last night the ideas were plinking; forehead-pounding regrets over past deeds, horrid fantasies, car crashes of expectations, unrealizable longings. It’s sheer torture. I don’t deserve it! Drip: Or maybe I do. For…

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Memorial: E. M. Cioran, 84, Novelist And Philosopher of Despair (Eric Pace)

The New York Times, June 22, 1995 E. M. Cioran, a Romanian-born writer known for his essays on philosophy and culture and his emphasis on despair, emptiness and death, died on Tuesday in the Broca Hospital in Paris. He was 84 and had lived in Paris since 1937. Mr. Cioran (pronounced TCHAW-rahn) has been widely…

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