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On the Heights of Despair

ISBN-10: 0226106713
ISBN-13: 9780226106717
Edition: 1996 (Reprint)
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Description: Born of a terrible insomnia—"a dizzying lucidity which would turn even paradise into hell"—this book presents the youthful Cioran, a self- described "Nietzsche still complete with his Zarathustra, his poses, his mystical clown's tricks, a whole  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/1/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 150
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

Born of a terrible insomnia—"a dizzying lucidity which would turn even paradise into hell"—this book presents the youthful Cioran, a self- described "Nietzsche still complete with his Zarathustra, his poses, his mystical clown's tricks, a whole circus of the heights." On the Heights of Despairshows Cioran's first grappling with themes he would return to in his mature works: despair and decay, absurdity and alienation, futility and the irrationality of existence. It also presents Cioran as a connoisseur of apocalypse, a theoretician of despair, for whom writing and philosophy both share the "lyrical virtues" that alone lead to a metaphysical revelation. "No modern writer twists the knife with Cioran's dexterity. . . . His writing . . . is informed with the bitterness of genuine compassion."—Bill Marx,Boston Phoenix "The dark, existential despair of Romanian philosopher Cioran's short meditations is paradoxically bracing and life-affirming. . . . Puts him in the company of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard."—Publishers Weekly,starred review "This is self-pity as epigram, the sort of dyspeptic pronouncement that gets most people kicked out of bed but that has kept Mr. Cioran going for the rest of his life."—Judith Shulevitz,New York Times Book Review Emil M. Cioran (1911-1995) is the author of numerous works, including The Fall into Time, A Short History of Decay,andTears and Saints..

E. M. Cioran left his native land of Romania for Paris in the late 1930s, where he livedand wrote until his death in 1995. His many books include Anathemas and Admirations,Drawn and Quartered, A Short History of Decay, and The Trouble with Being Born.nbsp;

Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston (1952--2005) was Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, Bloomington. She translated two books by E. M. Cioran from Romanian, On the Heights of Despair and Tears and Saints, and is author of To Kill a Text: The Dialogic Fiction of Hugo, Dickens and Zola.Kenneth R. Johnston is Professor of English Emeritus at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is author of The Hidden Wordsworth: Poet, Lover, Rebel, Spy and co-editor of Romantic Revolutions: Criticism and Theory (IUP, 1990). He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Imagining Cioran On Being Lyrical
How Distant Everything Is! On Not Wanting to Live
The Passion for the Absurd
The World and I Weariness and Agony Despair and the Grotesque
The Premonition of Madness On Death Melancholy Nothing Is Important Ecstasy
The World in Which Nothing Is Solved
The Contradictory and the Inconsequential On Sadness Total Dissatisfaction
The Bath of Fire Disintegration On the Reality of the Body I Do Not Know On Individual and Cosmic Loneliness Apocalypse
The Monopoly of Suffering Absolute Lyricism
The Meaning of Grace
The Vanity of Compassion Eternity and Morality Moment and Eternity History and Eternity Not to Be a Man Anymore Magic and Fatality Unimaginable Joy
The Ambiguity of Suffering All Is Dust Enthusiasm as a Form of Love Light and Darkness Renunciation
The Blessings of Insomnia On the Transubstantiation of Love Man, the Insomniac Animal Truth, What a Word!
The Beauty of Flames The Paucity of Wisdom
The Return to Chaos Irony and Self-Irony On Poverty
The Flight from the Cross
The Cult of Infinity Transfiguration of Banality
The Burden of Sadness Degradation through Work
The Sense of Endings
The Satanic Principle of Suffering An Indirect Animal Impossible Truth Subjectivity Homo... Love in Brief Nothing Matters
The Sources of Evil Beauty's Magic Tricks Man's Inconsistency Capitulation Facing Silence
The Double and His Art Nonsense E. M. Cioran: A Short Chronology

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