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Biography - English

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 greatly.

William H. Gass called Cioran's work "a philosophical romance on modern themes of alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as a agony, reason as disease." Source: Wikipedia

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