- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics (6 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141192720
- ISBN-13: 978-0141192727
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Short History of Decay (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 6 May 2010
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To miss reading this book would be a deprivation (Los Angeles Times)
This [series] is a wonderful idea ... They are absurdist parables, by turns hilarious, unsettling and enigmatic. (Nicholas Lezard Guardian)
[The series] sheds remarkable light on the literature, culture and politics of the region...anyone coming fresh to the field will be captivated by the richness, variety, humour and pathos of a classic literature that, through a shared historical experience, transcends national and linguistic boundaries. (CJ Schüler Independent on Sunday)
I urge you to go and read them. (Adam Thirlwell New Statesman)
This new series of Central European Classics is important well beyond simply providing 'good reads'. (Stephen Vizinczey Daily Telegraph)
About the Author
E. M. Cioran (1911-1995) was one of Central Europe's most remarkable philosophers, author of what William Gass called romances on 'alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease'. A Romanian, he lived much of his life in Paris and many of his major works were written in French, including A Short History of Decay, The Trouble with Being Born and Drawn and Quartered.
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If you like the above mental masturbation and nihilisic pyrotechnics, then you will love E. M. Cioran. Cioran has been called 'the last worthy disciple of Nietzsche'; but Nietzsche wrote for the 19 Century; E. M. Cioran writes for the 20th. He is a worthy successor to Friedrich Nietzsche.
This is not a history. It is a series of very short essays, a few paragraphs each, on associated topics, most of which deal with his deep skepticism about God and man. Cioran spent years writing and rewriting the book and in later years complained that it was overwritten. I think the elder Cioran was correct in his assessment of the younger Cioran. Even so, it is a book worth careful reading because the young Cioran pushed himself so hard, both in his thinking and in his attention to style.
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