Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” Sibiu, Facultatea de Litere şi Arte „Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Faculty of Letters and Arts
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5 / 2011
Cioran and the Female Saints
Of all topics of the paradoxical meditation of Emil Cioran, of all the topics discussed by his negatory or only relativizing spirit, few are those which are substracted from thinking in paradoxes or contesting action. Maybe there were five or six. Among these, the saints. Alongside reflections on music, love, nature and partially on sainthood, the saints theme configures a different type of discourse and another kind of philosophical attitude. It is not the bivalent discourse with thesis and antithesis – the latter satisfying the lust of denial or doubt – it is a unilateral rhetoric, affirmative, positive, a “loving discourse”. It is not the inflamed, demolishing, terrible attitude, of rejection, specific to the paradoxical man, but an attitude of acceptance and total agreement on the entire demonstrative way. The meditation on female saints and martyrs is part of Cioran’s first book, Lacrimi şi sfinţi [Tears and Saints], published in Bucharest in 1937,more specifically in the first three chapters of the book. The theme is reloaded in a subsequent addendum, a posterior summarising looking back, with a view to mitigating the lover’s exaltations. That is the sequence „The Saints’ Disciple” from the chapter „Sainthood and the Absolute’s Funny Faces”[ Sfinţenia şi strâmbăturile absolutului] of his first book published in France, Tratat de descompunere /Précis de décomposition, 1949.
Keywords: Emil Cioran, disciple of saints, self-flagellation, Saint Theresa, Saint Catherine of Siena, catholic saints
- Cioran, Emil, Lacrimi şi sfinţi, Bucureşti: Humanitas,1991
- Cioran, Emil, Tratat de descompunere. Bucureşti: Humanitas, 1992