In this volume, which reaffirms the uncompromising brilliance of his mind, Cioran strips the human condition down to its most basic components, birth and death, suggesting that disaster lies not in the prospect of death but in the fact of birth, "that laughable accident." In the lucid, aphoristic style that characterizes his work, Cioran writes of time and death, God and religion, suicide and suffering, and the temptation to silence. Through sharp observation and patient contemplation, Cioran cuts to the heart of the human experience. “A love of Cioran creates an urge to press his writing into someone’s hand, and is followed by an equal urge to pull it away as poison.”—The New Yorker “In the company of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard."—Publishers Weekly "No modern writer twists the knife with Cioran's dexterity. . . . His writing . . . is informed with the bitterness of genuine compassion."—Boston Phoenix
In this volume, which reaffirms the uncompromising brilliance of his mind, Cioran strips the human condition down to its most basic components, birth and death, suggesting that disaster lies not in the prospect of death but in the fact of birth, that laughable accident. In the lucid, aphoristic style that characterizes his work, Cioran writes of time and death, God and religion, suicide and suffering, and the temptation to silence. In all his writing, Cioran cuts to the heart of the human experience.
How would it be if what we take for human advance were simply a technological progress that literally leaves us out of its equations? What if progress is not humanity striking out bravely towards the future, but an ultimately destructive force? In a remarkable tour d'horizon, Paul Virilio paints a bleak picture of current scientific, cultural, social and political values. Art has succumbed to the techniques of advertising and in politics, the battle for hearts and minds has become a mere convergence of opinion. TV ratings have triumphed over universal suffrage. The events of September 11 reflect both the manipulation of a global sub-proletariat and the delusions of an elite of rich students and technicians who resemble the 'suicidal members of the Heaven's Gate cybersect'. And, in this post-humanist dystopia, we are morally rudderless before the threat of biological manipulations as yet undreamt. About the series: Appearing on the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, these series of books from Verso present analyses of the United States, the media, and the events surrounding September 11 by Europe's most stimulating and provocative philosophers. Probing beneath the level of TV commentary, political and cultural orthodoxies, and 'rent-a-quote' punditry, Baudrillard, Virilio, and Zizek offer three highly original and readable accounts that serve as fascinating introductions to the direction of their respective projects, and as insightful critiques of the unfolding events. This series seeks to comprehend the philosophical meaning of September 11 and will leave untouched none of the prevailing views currently propagated.
A collection of aphorisms, fragments, and observations on philosophy and pessimism. Composed of aphorisms, fragments, and observations both philosophical and personal, Eugene Thacker’s Infinite Resignation traces the contours of pessimism, caught as it is between a philosophical position and a bad attitude. By turns melancholic, misanthropic, and tinged with gallows humor, Thacker’s writing tenuously hovers over that point at which the thought of futility becomes the futility of thought.
“Only a monster can allow himself the luxury of seeing things as they are,” writes E. M. Cioran, the Romanian-born philosopher who has rightly been compared to Samuel Beckett. In History and Utopia, Cioran the monster writes of politics in its broadest sense, of history, and of the utopian dream. His views are, to say the least, provocative. In one essay he casts a scathing look at democracy, that “festival of mediocrity”; in another he turns his uncompromising gaze on Russia, its history, its evolution, and what he calls “the virtues of liberty.” In the dark shadow of Stalin and Hitler, he writes of tyrants and tyranny with rare lucidity and convincing logic. In “Odyssey of Rancor,” he examines the deep-rooted dream in all of us to “hate our neighbors,” to take immediate and irremediable revenge. And, in the final essay, he analyzes the notion of the “golden age,” the biblical Eden, the utopia of so many poets and thinkers.
A witty and addictively readable day-by-day literary companion. At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter’s enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King’s Carrie. A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Brontë sisters, Junot Díaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky. Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.
The Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (fourth–fifth century C.E.) is known for his critical contribution to Buddhist Abhidharma thought, his turn to the Mahayana tradition, and his concise, influential Yogacara–Vijñanavada texts. Paving the Great Way reveals another dimension of his legacy: his integration of several seemingly incompatible intellectual and scriptural traditions, with far-ranging consequences for the development of Buddhist epistemology and the theorization of tantra. Most scholars read Vasubandhu's texts in isolation and separate his intellectual development into distinct phases. Featuring close studies of Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosabhasya, Vyakhyayukti, Vimsatika, and Trisvabhavanirdesa, among other works, this book identifies recurrent treatments of causality and scriptural interpretation that unify distinct strands of thought under a single, coherent Buddhist philosophy. In Vasubandhu's hands, the Buddha's rejection of the self as a false construction provides a framework through which to clarify problematic philosophical issues, such as the nature of moral agency and subjectivity under a broadly causal worldview. Recognizing this continuity of purpose across Vasubandhu's diverse corpus recasts the interests of the philosopher and his truly innovative vision, which influenced Buddhist thought for a millennium and continues to resonate with today's philosophical issues. An appendix includes extensive English-language translations of the major texts discussed.