7.5.10

E. M. Cioran's Book of Delusions

Camelia Elias explores the significance of a largely untranslated work
E. M. Cioran

Here at A Piece of Monologue, it seems talk of death is never very far away. Whether it's the late prose of Samuel Beckett that's been haunting recent posts, or the uncanny 'visions of the future' of Don DeLillo's White Noise. It seems that today shall be no exception.

The latest issue of Hyperion includes a partial translation from E. M. Cioran's Cartea Amagirilor (Book of Delusions); the book has never been translated into English before, an early work written prior to The Heights of Despair. Translator Camelia Elias introduces the text:
How to escape time? Whereas, speaking of realism, the recurrent claim in Cioran is this one: “we are going to die,” prophetically he is more interested in how one does it. The modality of death, as that which can be perceived as taken out of time, or rather that should be the aim of everyone—vanquish death out of time, as it were—is clearly a topic that is for Cioran not only much more fascinating than stating the obvious, but also one that borders on an attempt to write for and on the surface of things, not their depth. Space, in other words, is the big thing. It unfolds more authentically than time because it is not bound to any linear experience. [Read the article]


My thanks to Rainer J. Hanshe for drawing the article to my attention.