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The Trouble with Being Born
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Book of the Month > The Trouble with Being Born — E.M. Cioran

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

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."

About halfway done. There are a few key ideas that seem to permeate throughout, and I'll speak to these later. This work, though, like others I've read recently, strips my desire to discuss anything at all; I see a tremendous value on the internalization of thought, but I fear a great loss in the bearing of these thoughts to others. There are some eloquent aphorisms on this throughout the work that I'll try to point out.

message 2: by cin (new)

cin just started this weekend. i'll admit i was probably too tired to have very clear idea of what this is about, and probably should not have been attempting it in that state. maybe i will reread the parts i read. i will reserve judgement on any of it until i've given it a fair shake.

fully understand your view that you don't want to discuss what you're thinking about it. i feel that way sometimes about certain things. which is problem for a reading group.

when we had to discuss readings in one of my lit classes, at that time i found it very helpful. it forced me to think critically about the work, to look at it more deeply, as well as opening my mind to other people's perceptions. in the end it gave me a much fuller experience of the work. but, even then, i knew there were just some things that really didn't lend themselves to open discussion. this may be one of those things.

message 3: by Rose (new) - added it

Rose Ocean (oznz) | 24 comments Looking at amazon rq because I forgot to buy it but think I will now since they don't have it at the nearest bookstore I will try to read it soon but I laughed at noticing this quote after reading what you both said:

“ I really cannot adequately convey the beauty of some of the existential musings of Cioran properly. ”
Mike| 5 reviewers made a similar statement

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

The interesting thing about that is, would Cioran want him to adequately convey the way he feels about the writing? So much of this text is about the tragedy of realization. Here are a few from the beginning that express the idea well:

True contact between beings is established only by mute presence, by apparent non-communication, by that mysterious and wordless exchange which resembles inward prayer.

An idea, a being, anything which becomes incarnate loses identity, turns grotesque. Frustration of all achievement. Never quit the possible, wallow in eternal trifling, forget to be born.

Once we reject lyricism, to blacken a page becomes an ordeal: what’s the use of writing in order to say exactly what we had to say?

Of course, "The trouble with being born" being the theme, it's pretty prevalent throughout the entire work and it would be silly to quote every ounce of it.

Note to self: aphoristic texts are difficult to discuss.

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