Cheer Down With Cioran, The Big Daddy Of Miserable Bastards:
March 9, 2002 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Cheer Down With Cioran, The Big Daddy Of Miserable Bastards: Grab some instant cynical nihilism from the E.M.Cioran Random Generator! Is it any wonder the late, great aphorist is so unpopular in academe? Meanwhile, in Spike Magazine, Stephen Mitchelmore is the latest in a long series of critics to try and spread the old master's noble rot.
posted by MiguelCardoso (12 comments total)
Dammit, the Random Generator just stopped working for me. An hour ago a new aphorism appeared every time I refreshed. Now it doesn't. Very appropriate. Sorry for that.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:15 PM on March 9, 2002

Well, here are some aphorisms from an OK web site about him. Though it's not the same. Oh why was I born?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:22 PM on March 9, 2002

The original link seems to be working fine now.
And I shall be using it regularly to wind my fellow Birmingham City F.C fans up .
posted by Fat Buddha at 2:29 PM on March 9, 2002

"As a general rule, men expect disappointment: they know they must not be impatient, that it will come soon or later, that it will hold off long enough for them to proceed with their undertakings of the moment. The disabused man is different: for him, disappointment occurs at the same time as the deed; he has no need to await it, it is present."

This reminds me of an answer i used to often land on when challenged to articulate why postmodernism is not ultimately paralyzingly depressing (this came from a time in college where -- desperate for something simple and comprehensible, i had simplified PM as 'the death of hagelian modernism', which read to some people as a euphamism for 'the death of hope'.

My answer -- as i tend to be a doggedly optimistic soul, even as i tend to be constantly disappointed -- was that the satisfaction of action comes from defying the inevitable failure. It requires a sort of poetic-tragic sensibility to appreciate, i guess. Yes, it will be futile, but i will do it anyway, and therefore promote the idea of the possibility of success. And so long as that idea of possibility exists -- even just as an idea, then the world is worth existing in, and things are worth doing.
And if you expect the failure from the beginning, it frees you from your aspirations, and allows you to find joy in cultivating that poetic defiance. The joy is in the doing, anyway.
posted by milkman at 2:35 PM on March 9, 2002

In the end, we all die. Poster refers a few times to "the great" Cioran...but the post seems instead to tend toward a disliking of this brand of fashionable despair that gets sewn in any spot in Europe but is then cultivated in France.
Steve M. is a good critic and, from a few e-mail exchanges, Steven likes writers such as Cioran, writers who break from what is usually perecieved as mainstream. But he ends his essay with a typical anti-university, academia salvo, when in fact the lads and lasses in academica will pounce on just about anyone or anything in order to make their mark. And get tenure.
posted by Postroad at 3:19 PM on March 9, 2002

A mortal should think mortal thoughts, not immortal thoughts.

Epicharmus of Syracuse
posted by y2karl at 4:12 PM on March 9, 2002

To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women. -Mahatma Gandhi
posted by dong_resin at 5:22 PM on March 9, 2002

Ha ha ha ha birmingham city. What division are they? Community service? Maybe Liecester city can hire them to serve drinks or soften the pitch after a frost.
posted by Settle at 6:22 PM on March 9, 2002

Blah, blah, blah.

It reminds me why I decided not to go to grad school.
posted by estopped at 6:29 PM on March 9, 2002

That quote was from Conan the Barbarian, not Gandhi.

Don't worry, I tend to get them confused as well.
posted by dcgartn at 8:36 PM on March 9, 2002

ATTENTION dong_resin:

Do not, repeat, do not deviate from established Metafilter Humor Protocols, as set forth here.

You have been warned.
posted by Optamystic at 9:12 PM on March 9, 2002

"Sometimes when I cleaned the house, I came across strange papers"

-Linda Lovelace.
posted by clavdivs at 12:08 PM on March 10, 2002

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