“I am both wound and knife,” that is our absolute.
– E.M. Cioran, The Temptation to Exist
“The Hegelian Subject-Substance has nothing to do with some kind of mega-Subject who controls the dialectical process, pulling its strings: to be blunt, there is no one pulling the strings or determining the process – the Hegelian system is a plane without a pilot.”
– Slavoj Zizek, Interrogating the Real
Cioran is not for everyone. He either grabs hold of you are you toss his books into the flames glad that your fingers were not singed by the darkening embers of his fatal message. Like some ancient demon who crawled out of the fires of an alien world, Cioran infests our thoughts not so much with a knowledge about our lives as he does about the limits of this strange existence and its multifarious modes of being. In Zizek we find the interrogator not so much of the Real, but of the darkening contours of the Void without center or circumference: as self-reflecting negativity. Between Cioran and Zizek we discover a strangeness, a confrontation with inexplicable incongruities that merge into paradoxes and attain that shock of awareness which awakens us from our long sleep of unknowing.
“Almost all our discoveries are due to our violences, to the exacerbation of our instability. Even God, insofar as He interests us – it is not in our innermost selves that we discern God, but at the extreme limits of our fever, at the very point where, our rage confronting His, a shock results, an encounter as ruinous for Him as for us.”
– from The Temptation to Exist