30+ Emil Cioran Quotes From The Romanian Philosopher

Luca Demetriou
Feb 29, 2024 By Luca Demetriou
Originally Published on Mar 15, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
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Emil Cioran was possibly one of the most rebellious masterminds of his time; a man with dark, maybe twisted, ideas but a better sense of humor.

"Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone", is a quote by Emil Cioran that gives us a glimpse into how he presented his ideologies with brutal honesty. As by the rules of existence, one cannot always have sunshine, the gloomy days need to be acknowledged as well; Cioran, with his work, provided balanced darkness in times of fairy tales.

He also stated that “an author who doesn't push you down; only causes you to feel less lonely with your desolation”. Cioran was a Romanian-born French philosopher and essayist. His beliefs about writing differ from the common norms, it was not about persuasion or keeping a readership entertained. Moreover, he delivered an assemblage of texts, that help one to reflect on oneself, to haul yourself out of a terrible despondency and to hold oneself together in dire circumstances.

Let’s take a look at the collection of best Emil Cioran quotes for you to read and follow them up with Rousseau quotes and Max Stirner quotes.

Fascinating Emil Cioran Quotes

Emil Cioran is a writer to peruse in instances of melancholy, despondency and despair. We have listed some of the most iconic and intense Emil Cioran quotes by the celebrated Romanian-French philosopher and aphorist, followed by some funny Emil Cioran quotes about sleep.

1. “ I may find myself alone. But am I not already alone in this world from which I no longer expect anything”

- Emil Cioran.

2. “True confessions are written with tears only. But my tears would drown the world, as my inner fire would reduce it to ashes.”

- Emil Cioran.

3. “Tears do not burn except in solitude.”

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

6. “We are afraid of the enormity of the possible.”

- Emil Cioran.

7. “Work for a social and political system, make a girl miserable? Hunt for weaknesses in philosophical systems, fight for moral and esthetic ideals? It's all too little. I renounce my humanity even though I may find myself alone.”

- Emil Cioran.

8. “The most interesting aspect of suffering is the sufferer's belief in its absoluteness. He believes he has a monopoly on suffering. I think that I alone suffer, that I alone have the right to suffer, although I also realize that there are modalities of suffering more terrible than mine, pieces of flesh falling from the bones, the body crumbling under one's very eyes, monstrous, criminal , shameful sufferings.”

- Emil Cioran.

9. “I don't understand why we must do things in this world, why we must have friends and aspirations, hopes and dreams. Wouldn't it be better to retreat to a faraway corner of the world, where all its noise and complications would be heard no more? Then we could renounce culture and ambitions; we would lose everything and gain nothing; for what is there to be gained from this world?”

- Emil Cioran.

10. “A decadent civilization compromises with its disease, cherishes the virus infecting it, loses its self-respect.”

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

12. “You cannot protect your solitude if you cannot make yourself odious.”

- Emil Cioran.

13. “Man is a robot with defects.”

- Emil Cioran.

14. “If we had the courage to confront the doubts we timidly conceive about ourselves, none of us would utter an 'I' without shame.”

- Emil Cioran, ‘A Short History of Decay’.

Famous Emil Cioran Quotes

Emil Cioran wrote his first book, 'On The Heights Of Despair', when he was 23 year old. 'A Short History Of Decay', is the first book in the series of dark wicked content, mainly of aphorisms and short essays. Celebrated as one of the incredible masters of aphorism, Emil Cioran’s composing style is unusual, dark, unsystematic and fragmentary. So here are some famous Emil Cioran quotes 'It Is No Nation' along with his quotes on the social and political system.

Large bookcase with the leather-bound books in the old Austrian National Library in Austria.

15. “Each of us is born with a share of purity, predestined to be corrupted by our commerce with mankind.”

- Emil Cioran, ‘A Short History Of Decay’.

16. “Knowledge subverts love: in proportion as we penetrate our secrets, we come to loathe our kind, precisely because they resemble us.”

- Emil Cioran.

17. “We are so lonely in life that we must ask ourselves if the loneliness of dying is not a symbol of our human existence.”

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

19. “One of the greatest delusions of the average man is to forget that life is death's prisoner.”

- Emil Cioran.

20. “To be or not to be…Neither one nor the other.”

- Emil Cioran.

21. “If someone incessantly drops the word “life,” you know he's a sick man.”

- Emil Cioran.

22. “We cannot be normal and alive at the same time.”

- Emil Cioran.

23. “Not to be born is undoubtedly the best plan of all. Unfortunately, it is within no one’s reach.”

- Emil Cioran.

24. “Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.”

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

27. “No one can enjoy freedom without trembling.”

- Emil Cioran.

28. “To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten.”

- Emil Cioran.

29. “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.”

- Emil Cioran.

30. “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.”

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

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

- Emil Cioran.

34. "One asks oneself, How can this be, and if it be, how can one still speak of finality and other such old wives' tales? Suffering moves me so much that I lose all my courage. I lose heart because I do not understand why there is suffering in the world.”

- Emil Cioran.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Emil Cioran quotes, then why not take a look at metaphysical quotes, or [Meister Eckhart quotes].

second image credit: Radiokafka / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Luca Demetriou

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English and Drama, Master of Arts specializing in Performance: Design and Practice

Luca Demetriou picture

Luca DemetriouBachelor of Arts specializing in English and Drama, Master of Arts specializing in Performance: Design and Practice

Experienced in writing and sub-editing, Luca holds a Bachelor's in English Literature and Drama from the University of Birmingham, where he served as the culture editor at Redbrick Paper. He is currently pursuing a Master's in Performance: Design and Practice at the University of the Arts in London, showcasing his passion for the arts, performance, and history. With a keen interest in traveling, Luca enjoys exploring new cultures and experiencing diverse perspectives.

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