In Memory of Emil M. Cioran

April 8, 1911 to June 20, 1995



I've enjoyed Emil Cioran's writings for years. Some see his writings as dark, but I find his honesty refreshing. Anyway, this page has an array of Emil's aphorisms and links to where you can obtain some of his books and more information about the man.

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Quotes by E.M. Cioran

[1] A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed.

[2] A distant enemy is always preferable to one at the gate.

[3] After a sleepless night, the people in the street seem automatons. No one seems to breathe, to walk, Each looks as if he is worked by clockwork: nothing spontaneous; mechanical smiles, spectral gesticulations. Yourself a specter, how would you see others as alive?

[4] A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself…

[5] A great step forward was made the day men understood that in order to torment one another more efficiently they would have to gather together, to organize themselves into a society.

[6] All my life, I have lived with the feeling that I have been kept from my true place. If the expression "metaphysical exile" had no meaning, my existence alone would afford it one.

[7] A man who fears ridicule will never go far, for good or ill: he remains on this side of this talents, and even if he has genius, he is doomed to mediocrity.

[8] A marvel that has nothing to offer, democracy is at once a nation's paradise and its tomb.

[9] Ambition is a drug that makes its addicts potential madmen.

[10] An impostor, a "humbug," conscious of being so and therefore a self–spectator, is necessarily more advanced in knowledge than a steady mind full of merits and all of a piece.

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