Emil Cioran: The Criticism of the Idea of Historical Progress

Boban Trifunović,
M. A. Ethnology and Anthropology,
Ph. D. candidate at Faculty of Philology,
University of Belgrade, Serbia

Two and a half decades have passed since Emil Cioran died in France, bearing the title of the most famous nihilist, pessimist, antinatalist, cryptognostic, etc. thinker (neither writer nor philosopher) of the XX century. Although he was born and grew up in Romania, he was known, in his lifetime, as the finest French stylist. He was also quite (in)famous for his views on humanity, life, religion, god, and history. Yet, two and a half decades later, rare are the scholars who decide to deal with Cioran properly – or to deal with him at all. One of the scholars who decided to deal with this notorious private thinker is Daniel A. Branco, who has given us a short, but quite intriguing study of Cioran’s perspective on history and his denial of historical progress. Branco also managed to deal with Cioran’s background, to look into his reason for denying the concept of progress (mainly spiritual, geist, or Sein progress) so he dealt with his insomnia, his religious crisis, his identity crisis, etc. As a scholar who also actively studies the life and work of Emil Cioran, I must say that Daniel Branco did a good job, providing us with a worthy study that covers a lot of Cioran’s points in his (anti-)philosophy. Branco’s work shall, thus, for sure, further improve our understanding of this unjustly almost forgotten privat denker.

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