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Emile M. Cioran's Quotes

Emile M. Cioran profile photo

Born: 1911-04-08
Profession: Philosopher
Nation: Romanian
Biography of Emile M. Cioran

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Skepticism is the sadism of embittered souls.

Tags: Embittered, Skepticism, Souls

Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.

Tags: Anyone, Books, Write

A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself.

Tags: Image, Leave, Rule

It is because we are all imposters that we endure each other.

Tags: Endure

Man starts over again everyday, in spite of all he knows, against all he knows.

Tags: Again, Against, Everyday

The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live - moreover, the only one.

Tags: Fact, Life, Reason

Truths begin by a conflict with the police - and end by calling them in.

Tags: Begin, End, Police

You are done for - a living dead man - not when you stop loving but stop hating. Hatred preserves: in it, in its chemistry, resides the mystery of life.

Tags: Done, Life, Living

A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed.

Tags: Destroyed, Gods

A distant enemy is always preferable to one at the gate.

Tags: Distant, Enemy, Gate

Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.

Tags: Dagger, Flesh, Thorn

Each concession we make is accompanied by an inner diminution of which we are not immediately conscious.

Tags: Concession, Conscious, Inner

Ennui is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart.

Tags: Apart, Echo, Time

God - a disease we imagine we are cured of because no one dies of it nowadays.

Tags: Disease, God, Imagine

I foresee the day when we shall read nothing but telegrams and prayers.

Tags: Prayers, Read, Shall

I have no nationality - the best possible status for an intellectual.

Tags: Best, Possible, Status

Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui.

Tags: Delirium, Ennui, Life

No one can enjoy freedom without trembling.

Tags: Enjoy, Freedom, Trembling

Philosophy: Impersonal anxiety; refuge among anemic ideas.

Tags: Anxiety, Ideas, Philosophy

So long as man is protected by madness - he functions - and flourishes.

Tags: Flourishes, Functions, Madness

Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth.

Tags: Cannot, Silence, Speech

The fear of being deceived is the vulgar version of the quest for Truth.

Tags: Deceived, Fear, Truth

The limit of every pain is an even greater pain.

Tags: Greater, Limit, Pain
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Much more quotes by Emile M. Cioran below the page.

To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten.

Tags: Dying, Fame, Forgotten

We are afraid of the enormity of the possible.

Tags: Afraid, Fear, Possible

We inhabit a language rather than a country.

Tags: Country, Language, Rather

We interest others by the misfortune we spread around us.

Tags: Interest, Misfortune, Others

Word - that invisible dagger.

Tags: Dagger, Invisible, Word

Impossible to spend sleepless nights and accomplish anything: if, in my youth, my parents had not financed my insomnias, I should surely have killed myself.

Tags: Impossible, Parents, Youth

The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.

Tags: Attention, Die, Obsession

A people represents not so much an aggregate of ideas and theories as of obsessions.

Tags: Aggregate, Ideas, Obsessions

Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher's the poet's equal there.

Tags: Anyone, Dream, Sleep

Crime in full glory consolidates authority by the sacred fear it inspires.

Tags: Crime, Fear, Full

Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.

Tags: Sensation, Thought

Everything is pathology, except for indifference.

Tags: Except, Pathology

For you who no longer posses it, freedom is everything, for us who do, it is merely an illusion.

Tags: Freedom, Illusion, Longer

Glory - once achieved, what is it worth?

Tags: Glory, Once, Worth

Great persecutors are recruited among martyrs whose heads haven't been cut off.

Tags: Great, Off, Whose

If, at the limit, you can rule without crime, you cannot do so without injustices.

Tags: Cannot, Crime, Rule

In a republic, that paradise of debility, the politician is a petty tyrant who obeys the laws.

Tags: Laws, Petty, Politician

In order to have the stuff of a tyrant, a certain mental derangement is necessary.

Tags: Necessary, Order, Stuff

Intelligence flourishes only in the ages when belief withers.

Tags: Ages, Belief, Flourishes

Isn't history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom?

Tags: Boredom, Fear, History

Life inspires more dread than death - it is life which is the great unknown.

Tags: Death, Great, Life

Life is possible only by the deficiencies of our imagination and memory.

Tags: Life, Memory, Possible

Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil.

Tags: Action, Evil, Violence

Nothing is so wearing as the possession or abuse of liberty.

Tags: Abuse, Liberty, Possession

One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no other.

Tags: Country, Fatherland, Language

One hardly saves a world without ruling it.

Tags: Hardly, Ruling, Saves

Our works, whatever they may be, derive from our incapacity to kill or to kill ourselves.

Tags: May, Ourselves, Whatever

Philosophers write for professors; thinkers for writers.

Tags: Thinkers, Write, Writers

Sperm is a bandit in its pure state.

Tags: Pure, Sperm, State

The desire to die was my one and only concern; to it I have sacrificed everything, even death.

Tags: Death, Desire, Die

The mind is the result of the torments the flesh undergoes or inflicts upon itself.

Tags: Flesh, Mind, Result

The more we try to rest ourselves from our Egos, the deeper we sink into it.

Tags: Ourselves, Rest, Try

The task of the solitary man is to be even more solitary.

Tags: Solitary, Task

The Universal view melts things into a blur.

Tags: Blur, Universal, View

There is no means of proving it is preferable to be than not to be.

Tags: Means, Preferable, Proving

To act is to anchor in an imminent future, so imminent it becomes almost tangible; to act is to feel you are consubstantial with that future.

Tags: Act, Almost, Future

To exist is a habit I do not despair of acquiring.

Tags: Despair, Exist, Habit

To Live signifies to believe and hope - to lie and to lie to oneself.

Tags: Hope, Lie, Oneself

To venture upon an undertaking of any kind, even the most insignificant, is to sacrifice to envy.

Tags: Envy, Sacrifice, Venture

Tolerance - the function of an extinguished ardor - tolerance cannot seduce the young.

Tags: Cannot, Tolerance, Young

Torment, for some men, is a need, an appetite, and an accomplishment.

Tags: Appetite, Men, Torment

Under each formula lies a corpse.

Tags: Corpse, Formula, Lies

We are born to Exist, not to know, to be, not to assert ourselves.

Tags: Born, Exist, Ourselves

We define only out of despair, we must have a formula... to give a facade tot he void.

Tags: Define, Despair, Give

We derive our vitality from our store of madness.

Tags: Madness, Store, Vitality

We die in proportion to the words we fling around us.

Tags: Die, Fling, Words

We understand God by everything in ourselves that is fragmentary, incomplete, and inopportune.

Tags: God, Ourselves, Understand

We would not be interested in human beings if we did not have the hope of someday meeting someone worse off than ourselves.

Tags: Hope, Human, Someone

What does the future, that half of time, matter to the man who is infatuated with eternity?

Tags: Future, Matter, Time

When we cannot be delivered from ourselves, we delight in devouring ourselves.

Tags: Cannot, Delight, Ourselves

Woes and wonders of Power, that tonic hell, synthesis of poison and panacea.

Tags: Hell, Poison, Power

Imaginary pains are by far the most real we suffer, since we feel a constant need for them and invent them because there is no way of doing without them.

Tags: Far, Real, Since

The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.

Tags: Either, Himself, Idea

Negation is the mind's first freedom, yet a negative habit is fruitful only so long as we exert ourselves to overcome it, adapt it to our needs; once acquired it can imprison us.

Tags: Freedom, Mind, Negative

Ambition is a drug that makes its addicts potential madmen.

Tags: Ambition, Makes, Potential

Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, chaos is being yourself.

Tags: Chaos, Learned, Yourself

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

Tags: Others, Read, Understand

Our first intuitions are the true ones.

Tags: Brainy, Intuitions, True

Jealousy - that jumble of secret worship and ostensible aversion.

Tags: Jealousy, Secret, Worship

What surrounds us we endure better for giving it a name - and moving on.

Tags: Giving, Moving, Moving On

A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.

Tags: Pay, Silence, Speech

I'm simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?

Tags: Seriously, Simply, Why

A marvel that has nothing to offer, democracy is at once a nation's paradise and its tomb.

Tags: Democracy, Nation, Once

No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one.

Tags: Born, Deadly, Disease

In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world.

Tags: Evil, Prophet, Sleeps

Since all life is futility, then the decision to exist must be the most irrational of all.

Tags: Decision, Life, Since

Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.

Tags: Happiness, Music, Souls

My mission is to kill time, and time's to kill me in its turn. How comfortable one is among murderers.

Tags: Among, Time, Turn

Progress is the injustice each generation commits with regard to its predecessors.

Tags: Generation, Injustice, Progress

By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing.

Tags: Evidence

If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would vanish on the spot.

Tags: Others, Ourselves, Spot

Who Rebels? Who rises in arms? Rarely the slave, but almost always the oppressor turned slave.

Tags: Almost, Rarely, Slave

What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his?

Tags: Left, Present, Tragedies

It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.

Tags: Since, Worth, Yourself

Nothing proves that we are more than nothing.

Tags: Proves

Revenge is not always sweet, once it is consummated we feel inferior to our victim.

Tags: Once, Revenge, Sweet

Society is not a disease, it is a disaster. What a stupid miracle that one can live in it.

Tags: Miracle, Society, Stupid