This collection of eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank. Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers.
The Temptation to Exist first introduced this brilliant European thinker twenty years ago to American readers, in a superb translation by Richard Howard. This literary mystique around Cioran continues to grow, and The Temptation to Exist has become an underground classic. In this work Cioran writes about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, about mystics, apostles, philosophers. For those to whom the very word philosophy brings visions of arduous reading, be assured: Cioran is crystal-clear, his style quotable and aphoristic. “A sort of final philosopher of the Western world. His statements have the compression of poetry and the audacity of cosmic clowning”—The Washington Post