||Emil Cioran (known in French as
Émile Cioran), (April 8, 1911 - June 20, 1995).
He was born in Răşinari, Sibiu, Austria-Hungary (present-day Romania) the
son of a Romanian Orthodox priest, and died in Paris, having variously lived
in Bucharest, Berlin, and elsewhere.
He attended Bucharest University, where he in 1928 met Eugène Ionesco and
Mircea Eliade, and the three became lifelong friends. He also began to be
interesed, without any membership, in the Iron Guard, a nationalist
organization which he supported until the early years of World War II.
Cioran's 'pessimism' (in fact, his skepticism) is more that of one who looks
deeply into the abyss, yet is able to continue existing with the tragic
wisdom he has discovered and remain, in his own particular manner, joyful;
it is not a pessimism which can be traced to such simple origins, single
origins themselves being questionable. When Cioran's mother spoke to him of
abortion, it did not disturb him, but made an extraordinary impression which
led to an insight about the nature of existence. "I'm simply an accident.
Why take it all so seriously?" is what he later said in reference to the
incident, noting that everything is without substance. Existence is chance.
A 1937 scholarship from the French Institute in Bucharest brought him to
Paris, where he lived the rest of his life—though he famously said "I have
no nationality—the best possible status for an intellectual." His early work
was in Romanian, his latter work in French, and it was mostly in the form of
aphorisms and short essays. Friedrich Nietzsche and buddhism influenced him