Category Archives: Spurious

The opposite of God

To begin a fiction seems to me an act of great daring. What temerity – to write, and a fiction! The temerity of inventiveness! Perhaps I am like those who distrust fiction writers who would usurp the place of God. But then I remember that certain fictional works are more like a destruction than a creation: the world is pared down, ‘reduced’ as is said in phenomenology, and now in such a way that the author is the opposite of God.


The sensation of the passing of time has always been vivid for me, and I have been attracted by it just as others are allured by dizzying heights or by water.

— Guy Debord (via here)

Deep inside me there’s a perpetual seething, like the bottom of a geyser, and I keep hoping that things will come to an eruption once and for all, so that I can turn into a different person.
Perhaps you regard this thinking about myself as a waste of time – but how can I be a logician before I’m a human being? Far the most important thing is to settle accounts with myself!
My thoughts are tired. I am not seeing things freshly, but rather in a pedestrian, lifeless way. It is as if a flame had gone out and I must wait until it starts to burn again by itself.

— Wittgenstein (via here)

Of all things one feels, nothing gives the impression of being at the very heart of truth so much as fits of unaccountable despair; compared to these, everything seems frivolous, debased, lacking in substance and interest.

— Cioran (via here)

Cioran quotes

… we belong to a clinical age when only cases count.

The pessimist has to invent new reasons to exist every day: he is a victim of the ‘meaning’ of life.

What distinguishes us from our predecessors is our offhandedness with regard to Mystery. We have even renamed it: thus was born the Absurd …

Death reaches so far, requires so much room, that I no longer know where to die.

How can a man be a philosopher? How can he have the effrontery to contend with time, with beauty, with God, and the rest? The mind swells and hops, shamelessly. Metaphysics, poetry – a flea’s impertinences …

Sure of themselves, the English are boring; thus they pay for the centuries of liberty during which they could live without recourse to cunning, to the sly smile, to expedients. Easy to understand why, diametrically opposite, it is the Jews’ privilege to be the most wide awake of peoples.

In other times, the philosopher who did not write but thought incurred no scorn thereby; ever since we began prostrating ourselves before the effective, the work has become the absolute of vulgarity; those who produce none are regarded as failures. But such failures would have been the sages of another age; they will redeem ours by having left no traces.

Boredom is a larval anxiety; depression, a dreamy hatred.

Sooner or later, each desire must encounter its lassitude: its truth …

Awareness of time: assault on time …

Erect I make a resolution; prone I revoke it.

Our disgusts? – Detours of the disgust with ourselves.

If just once you were depressed for no reason, you have been so all your life without knowing it.

Becoming: an agony without an ending.

The older I grow, the less I enjoy performing my little Hamlet.

Don Quixote represents a civilisation’s youth: he made up events; – and we don’t know how to escape those besetting us.

You cannot protect your solitude if you cannot make yourself odious.

I live only because it is in my power to die when I choose to: without the idea of suicide, I’d have killed myself right away.

Adrft in the Vague, I cling to each wisp of affliction as to a drowning man’s plank.

Without God, everything is nothingness; and God? Supreme nothingness.

The desire to die was my one and only concern; to it I have sacrificed everything, even death.

Nature has created individuals only to relieve Suffering, to help it spread and scatter at their expense.

If History had a goal, how lamentable would be the fate of those of us who have accomplished nothing! But in the universal purposelessness, we stand proud, ineffectual streetwalkers, riffraff well-pleased with having been right.

To hope is to contradict the future.

What a pity that to reach God we must pass through faith!

Our embrassment in the presence of a ridiculous man derives from the fact that we cannot imagine him on his deathbed.

Only optimists commit suicide, the optimists who can no longer be … optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why should they have any to die?

The Old Testament knew how to imtimidate Heaven, how to shake a fist at whatever was on high: prayer was a quarrel between the creature and its creator. Came the Gospels to make nice: Christianity’s unforgiveable error.

Even when we believe we have dislodged God from our soul, He still lingers: we realise that He finds it tedious there, but we no longer have sufficient faith to entertain Him …

On the frontiers of the self: ‘What I have suffered, what I am suffering, no one will ever know, not even I’.

Events – tumours of time.

Man secretes disaster.

The secret of my adaptation to life? – I’ve changed despairs the way I’ve changed shirts.

Each day is a Rubicon in which I aspire to be drowned.

The last resort to those stricken by fate is the idea of fate.

Not knowing humiliation, you are ignorant of what it is to arrive at the last stage of yourself.

The more we frequent men, the blacker our thoughts; and when, to clarify them, we return to our solitude, we find there the shadow they have cast.

— from Cioran, All Gall is Divided

(via here)

I have never understood how it is possible for almost anyone who writes to objectify his sufferings in the very midst of suffering them; thus I, for example, in the midst of my unhappiness – my head, say, still on fire with unhappiness – sit down and write to someone: I am unhappy. Yes, I can even go beyond that and with the various flourishes I might have talent for, all of which seem to have nothing to do with my unhappiness, ring simple, or contrapuntal or a whole orchestration of changes on my theme. And it is not a lie, and it does not still my pain, it is simply a merciful surplus of strength at a moment when suffering has raked me to the bottom of my being and plainly exhausted all my strength. But then what kind of strength is it?

— Kafka, Diary (via Spurious)

I just feel things

– I never read philosophy.
– Why not?
– I don’t understand it.
– Why did you write your books?
– I don’t know. I’m not an intellectual. I just feel things. I invented Molloy and the rest of the day I understood how stupid I’d been. I began then to write down the things I feel.

– Beckett, interview


Who are you? A way failure has thickened itself to life. Who are you? A way failure has lived a human life.

Bad faith of writing: to have marshalled the strength to write, I am a failure is already to have left failure behind; you are a liar.

I am a failure — with this lie, everything can begin; will you have the strength to ring changes on this sentence? To link it to others? Now you have made something: a few sentences, a paragraph — is that enough? Is it enough to push failure aside?


Death is our chance

Death is what Rilke calls ‘the pure relation’ — a purified relation which leaps beyond consciousness. Through death it is possible to achieve a new intimacy with things, replacing the imperious desire to master the world, the purposive activity which allows us to be content only with results. To save things is to turn towards the invisible, to allow death to affirm itself. What is this death? An enlarged consciousness — the broadening which reinstates a lost unity, a larger understanding. It reassures our faith in the oneness of things. Would this be the experience which would lead us into the profound intimacy we seek?

Death is our chance. Yet Rilke will say the animal that lives in the Open is ‘free of death’. We are not free; our perspective is limited and this is the point: ‘Death, we see only death; the free animal always has its decline behind it, and before it God, and when it moves, it moves in Eternity, as springs flow’. But then what chance does death offer us?


Nothing can begin unless you experience your idiocy

Above all, W. says, I should work earnestly on another book. It’s the only way I experience my own inadequacy, he says. He knows me: without some project, I’ll become far too content. My idiocy will become an alibi, an excuse — which is precisely a way to avoid it altogether. You have to run up against your idiocy, to plunge into it, W. says. Nothing can begin unless you experience your idiocy.