Emil Mihai Cioran

What will be the physiognomy?

“What will be the physiognomy of painting, of poetry, of music, in a hundred years? No one can tell. As after the fall of Athens, of Rome, a long pause will intervene, caused by the exhausting of the means of expression, as well as the exhaustion of the means of expressions, as well as the exhaustion of the means of consciousness itself. Humanity, to rejoin the past, must invent a second naiveté, without which arts can never begin again.”
E. M. Cioran


Emil Cioran (1911–1995) was a Romanian philosopher and essayist, who published works in both Romanian and French.
He studied philosophy at the University of Bucharest. In his studies, he met his lifelong friends and companions: future playwright Eugene Ionesco, future religionist Mircea Eliade, and future philosopher Constantine Noica. All of them went to a particular version of fascism.
His work has been noted for its pervasive philosophical pessimism, and frequently engages with issues of suffering, decay, and nihilism. Among his best-known works are On the Heights of Despair (1934) and The Trouble with Being Born (1973). Cioran's first French book, A Short History of Decay, was awarded the prestigious Rivarol Prize in 1950. In this era, he became friends with Paul Celan, Samuel Beckett, Gabriel Marcel, and Henri Michaux.The Latin Quarter of Paris was his permanent residence and he lived much of his life in isolation with his partner, Simone Boué.
His work has sometimes been described as decadent and misanthropic. Saint-John Perse Ciorana, however, was named Paul Valéry as the greatest French writer.
Emil Mihai Cioran: Portrait (1993). Photographer: archive Ernest Howard Shepard: Winnie-the-Pooh, 1926 — illustration (1993). Photographer: archiv