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Anathemas and Admirations: Essays and Aphorisms

Emil M. Cioran

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Everything that can be classified is perishable. Only what is susceptible to several interpretations endures.”

“The leftist's despair is to battle in the name of principles that forbid him cynicism.”

“Old age is the most unexpected thing of all that happens to man," - notes Trotsky a few years before his end. If, as a young man, he had had the exact, visceral intuition of this truth, what a miserable revolutionary he would have made!”

“Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.”

“Though we ourselves have come too late, we shall be envied by our immediate successors, and still more by our remote descendants. In their eyes we shall have the look of privileged characters, and rightly so, for everyone wants to be as far as possible from the future.”

“The passion for prophesying then seizes everyone; skeptics and fanatics alike delight in the idea of disaster and give themselves up in concert to the pleasure of having foreseen and trumpeted it abroad. But it is especially the theoreticians of Reaction who exult (tragically, no doubt) over the reality or the imminence of the worst - of the worst that is their raison d'être.”

“In Marx's entire oeuvre, I don't think there is a single disinterested reflection on death... I was pondering this at his grave in Highgate.”

“I abuse the word God; I use it often, too often. I employ it each time I touch an extremity and need a word to designate what comes after. I prefer God to the Inconceivable.”

“Expression diminishes you, impoverishes you, lifts weights off you: expression is loss of substance, and liberation.”

“Excess of deliberation frustrates all actions. To expatiate upon sexuality is to sabotage it altogether. Eroticism, scourge of deliquescent societies, is an offense against instinct, an organized impotence. We do not reflect with impunity upon exploits that dispense with reflection. Orgasm has never been a philosophical event.”

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Book Keywords:

reading, descendants, interpretation, god, future, self-knowledge, criticism

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