Emil Cioran & Petre Ţuţea interview w/ Gabriel Liiceanu (english subs)





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Published on Jul 21, 2006

Prominent members of the Romanian Generation of the 1930's, Emil Cioran (1911-1995) and Petre Ţuţea (1902-1991), talk about each other in this interview by Gabriel Liiceanu.

Cioran comments on Ţuţea's marxist past before converting to Christianity, while imprisoned. Ţuţea, on the other hand, analyzes Cioran's struggle to find God and believe in Him -- although never fulfilling his religious quest -- and refutes his characterization as an atheist. Ţuţea brings forward Cioran's fierce pessimism and his Schopenhauerian influences.

Translation credits:



"I would not want to live in a world drained of all religious feeling. I am not thinking of faith but of that inner vibration which, independent of any belief in particular, projects you into, and sometimes above God..." (CIORAN, Drawn and Quartered)

"'I shall take the liberty of praying for you'. - 'Glad to heart it. But who will listen to you?'" (CIORAN, Drawn and Quartered)

"'When the soul is in a state of grace, its beauty is so high and so admirable that it far surpasses all that is beautiful in nature, and delights the eyes of God and the Angels' - Ignatius Loyola.
I have sought to settle in an ordinary grace; I have tried to liquidate all interrogations and vanish in an ignorant light, in any light disdainful of the intellect. But how to attain to the sigh of felicity superior to problems, when no 'beauty' illuminates you, and when God and Angels are blind?
By what peculiarity of fate do certain beings, having reached the point where they might coincide with a faith, retreat to follow a path which leads only to themselves - and hence anywhere? It is out of fear that once installed in grace they might lose there their distinct virtues? Each man develops at the expense of his depths, each man is a mystic who denies himself: the earth is inhabited by various forms of grace manqué, by trampled mysteries.
One cannot will faith; like a disease, it insinuates itself in you or strikes you down; no one can command it; and it is absurd to long for it if you are not predestined to it. You are a believer or you are not, the way you are crazy or normal. I can neither believe nor want to believe; faith, a form of madness to which I am not at all subject The unbelievers position is quite as impenetrable as the believers. I devote myself to the pleasure of being disappointed: this is the very essence of the world; above Doubt, I rank only the delight which derives from it"

(CIORAN, A Short History of Decay)


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