Interview: Emil Cioran to Los Angeles Times

12 October 2019

I was very tense, in a feverish state, and ready to explode. […] The future was meaningless for me, the present as well. And so, philosophically, because one is always a philosopher, it’s a sort of exasperation, an intensification, of the state of being conscious. Not self-conscious, conscious. The state of consciousness as the great misfortune, and in my case the permanent misfortune. Normally, it’s the contrary, it’s consciousness which is man’s advantage. Me, I arrived at the conclusion that no, the fact of being conscious, of not being oblivious, that is the great catastrophe. Because I was conscious twenty-four hours a day. One can be conscious several hours a day, five minutes, but not all day, all night. People are conscious by intervals, but there it’s a matter of acuteness, all the time.

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