E.M. CIORAN, ALL GALL IS DIVIDED

Marked Passages
― Plutarch, nowadays, would write the Parallel Lives of Losers.

― How easy it is to be “deep”: all you have to do is let yourself sink into your own flaws.

― No salvation, save in the imitation of silence. But our loquacity is prenatal. A race of rhetoricians, of verbose spermatozoons, we are chemically linked to the Word.

― …All commentary on a work is bad or futile, for whatever is not direct is null.

― What are the occupations of the age? He resigns himself to seeing, to eating, etc…., he accepts in spite of himself this “wound with nine openings,” which is what the Bhagavad-Gita calls the body.―Wisdom? To undergo with dignity the humiliation inflicted upon us by our holes.

― In this “great dormitory,” as one Taoist text calls the universe, nightmare is the sole mode of lucidity.

― The plant is mildly affected; the animal contrives to break down; in man the anomaly of all that breaths is exacerbated.

Life! homogeny of stupor and chemistry
… Shall we take refuge in the equilibrium of the mineral kingdom? Step backward over the realm dividing us from it and imitate normal stone?

― Death poses a problem which replaces all the others. What is deadlier to philosophy, to the naive belief in the hierarchy of perplexities?

― The Skeptic is perfectly willing to suffer, like other men, for life-giving chimeras. He fails to do so: a martyr of common sense

― Objection to scientific knowledge: this world doesn’t deserve to be known

― …amont theologians. Unable to prove what they propose, they are obliged to practice so many distinctions that they distract the brain; their purpose. Imagine the virtuosity required to classify angels into ten or a dozen species! Not to mention God: how many minds has His exhausting “infinity” cast into deliquescence;..

― …But when, in his impatience, he shot me a glance of distain, I resolved then and there to murder the disciple in myself.

― “I am like a broken puppet whose eyes have fallen inside.” This remark of a mental patient weighs more heavily than a whole stack of works of introspection.

― I gallivant through the days like a prostitute in a world without sidewalks.

― As long as boredom is confined to affairs of the heart, everything is still possible; once it spreads into the sphere of judgement, we are done for.

― To control men, you must practice their vices and add to them. Consider the popes; as long as they fornicated, gave themselves up to incest and murder, they ruled their age; and the church was omnipotent. No sooner did they respect its precepts than they declined, and still do: abstinence, like moderation, has been fatal to them; now that they’re respectable, who fears them? Edifying twilight of an institution.

― You cease being young the moment you no longer choose your enemies, when you are content with those you have within arm’s reach.

― You have dreamed of setting the universe ablaze, and you have not even managed to communicate your fire to words, to light up a single one!

― If I believe in God, my fatuousness world be limitless; I would walk naked in the streets…

― That which lives without memory has not left Paradise: the plants still delight in it. They were not doomed to Sin, to that impossibility of forgetting; but we, cases of walking remorse, etc., etc.

― “Lord, without Thee I am mad, yet with The I am madder still!”― Such would be, in the best of cases, the result of a resumption of contact between the failure here below and the failure on high.

― For two thousand years, Jesus has revenged himself on us for not having died on a sofa.

― In periods of peace, hating for the pleasure of hating, we must find the enemies which suits;― a delicious task which exciting times spare us.

― I believe in the salvation of humanity, in the future of cyanide…

― “When I shave,” this half-mad man once told me, “who if not God keeps me from cutting my own throat?” ―  Faith, on other words, would be no more than an artifice of the instinct of self-preservation. Biology everywhere.

― How I’d like to be a plant, even if I had to keep vigil over a piece of shit !

― Some souls God Himself could not save were He to kneel and pray for them.

― When I was barely adolescent, the prospect of death flung me into trances; to escape them, I rushed to the brothel, where I invoked the angels. But with age, you become used to your own terrors, you undertake nothing more in order to be disengaged from them, you become quite bourgeois in the Abyss.―  And although there was a time when I envied those Egyptian monks who dug their own graves in order to shed tears within them, if I were to dig mine now, all I would drop in there would be cigarette butts.

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