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Shelves: know-thyself "The Temptation to Exist" makes an interesting complement or foil? Only in this fertile opposition does it get its full sense for me. Every work turns against its author: the poem will crush the poet, the system the philosopher, the event the man of action. Destruction "The Temptation to Exist" makes an interesting complement or foil? Destruction awaits anyone who, answering to his vocation and fulfilling it, exerts himself within history; only the man who sacrifices every gift and talent escapes: released from his humanity, he may lodge himself in Being.

One always perishes by the self one assumes: to bear a name is to claim an exact mode of collapse. Ultimate lucidity is to be found in a turning against oneself - a self-unraveling - that at times borders on the morbid,. Any positive stance we take on the question of Being is not just a gamble anymore, but pre-determines its own "exact mode of collapse. Because of this, all positions that the creative self constructs specify a determinate mode of delayed self-annihiliation. One wonders at times how much of this work is a self-inebriating literary exercise.

Ultimately, Cioran shows just how little grounding is left for the self that is determined to place its -entire- life into question and not just select domains within that life, as past philosophers did.

But poetry surpasses doubt, pointing to what we cannot know. Doubt is narcissistic; we look at everything critically, including ourselves, and perhaps that comforts us. Doubt is poetry for the resigned.

Whereas poetry is searching, endless wandering. Doubt is a tunnel, poetry is a spiral. Doubt prefers to shut, while poetry opens. Poetry laughs and cries, doubt ironizes. Why does one choose poetry while another chooses doubt?

Cioran is the master of the negative epiphany, of the anti-epiphany. He will specify the precise "mode of collapse" of any of the meanings and revelations that sustain us through life. And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide.

Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.

All this Cioran denies and treats as a self-alienating projection onto the inhuman world of meanings that we create. The only genuine meaning to be found is in absolute, vacuous independence and in a "pure" act of self-reflexivity that withdraws from all such projection and psychological outsourcing onto the world. Perhaps this is what we get when we philosophize from the presumption that there can be an I without a Thou.

But, of course, nobody actually lives on the bread of negation. He himself is tortured by this self-contradiction: he can never quite fully realize his own stance. Negation is always parasitic. There is thus something either dishonest, or repressed, about a work that seeks to build itself solely on the lucidity of negation. So what is the positive force that drives the negation of a Cioran?

Engaging with such questions as this book opens up - sometimes directly, sometimes implicitly, by its very presence - can yield a lot of insight into the human psyche and into the sources of philosophy in our lives.


Ispita de a exista



Emil Cioran, Ispita de a exista



Ispita de a exista | Emil Cioran Download (.pdf, eBook, ePUB)



Ispita de a exista


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