Sunday, February 8, 2009

SOLITUDE

While being solitary at the edge of the world - in Denmark this means being in Traedholm - I was reminded of a conversation with the former permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy (Horace has recently ‘un-permanented’ himself, as it were, by stepping down as the Nobel prize for literature guy, to my regret). I shall never forget the tone of confidentiality, and his expressive body language that combined a secretive allure with insight, when he told me that E.M. Cioran changed him intellectually, irrevocably and irredeemably. I’m tempted to write some more about Horace, but what with Cioran, I’ll stick to quoting 5 aphorisms. Those who are familiar with this genre will get the picture. On the other hand, as Horace and I are fragment lovers, I’m tempted to send him an email asking him to make a selection for my upcoming translation of fragments from Cioran’s The Book of Delusions. Now there is a thought for solitude! Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday.

"The task of the solitary man is to be even more solitary."

"Skepticism is the sadism of embittered souls."

"Under each formula lies a corpse."

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

"Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone."












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