Kerstin BORCHHARDT is a German Philosopher and Art Historian, with a PhD in Art History from Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, where she was granted scholarships from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the Gerda Henkel Stiftung and the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung. She taught at the University of Erfurt from 2013 to 2014. From 2014 to 2019, worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Art History at the University of Leipzig. In 2019, she did a research stay in Mexico City, where she participated in the Encuentro Internacional Cioran: entre Filosofía y Literatura, with a conference revolving around the assimilation of Nietzsche’s philosophy by Emil Cioran.
She collaborated with several artistic and scientific projects. She is the author of several publications, such as Böcklins Bestiarium: Mischwesen in der modernen Malerei (Berlin, Reimer, 2017), Germinal Monsters and New Kinships in Contemporary Art (in: ARKEN Bulletin, Vol. 8, Special Issue, From a Grain of Dust to the Cosmos), Rethinking Positions of the Human Through Art, edited by Anne Kølbæk Iversen and Gry Hedin (ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark, 2020), From Mental Experiments to Material Presence: Expanded Ecotopias Between Nature, Science and Spirituality, Contemporary Art (2020). Among her most recent publications, there is an important article on Cioran and Nietzsche’s historical-philosophical connections: “On the Power of Frustration: Cioran’s Nietzsche Reception in his Syllogisms of Bitterness” (Anale Seria Drept, Universitatea “Tibiscus” din Timișoara, 2020) . Currently, Kerstin Borchhardt teaches at Universität Siegen, in Germany.
On June 12, 2021, Saturday, at 7 pm (Berlin timezone), Portal E.M. Cioran Brasil is hosting a live talk on YouTube with Kerstin Borchhardt. The talk shall be held in English, while simultaneously translated to Portuguese / Spanish.
Rodrigo Menezes: Dear Kerstin Borchhardt, first I would like to thank you for the kindness of granting us this interview. My first questions would be: When did you first read Cioran? What book was it? How did you come to discover his existence? Did you read a German translation at first? What was it that attracted you, and how were you impacted by his writings?
Kerstin Borchhardt: Dear Rodrigo Menezes, thank you so much for the invitation to join you at your platform and your community. It is a great pleasure for me to perform this exchange on Cioran between Brazil and Germany with you. Since I come from Classical Art and Visual Culture Studies with a focus on their intersections with Philosophy and Natural Science, my perspective and thoughts on Cioran may differ from those of explicit Philosophy scholars. Anyway, I would like to share with you my “history” with Cioran and what he means for my personal research.
Since my studies and my time as a PhD student (a long time ago) at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, I have been fascinated with the art and the philosophy of the turn between the 18h and the 19th centuries. My research focus was on Symbolist and Impressionist Art between traditional iconography and modern innovations as well as on Philosophy between Cultural and Natural Progress Optimism, for example in the works of Charles Darwin and Ernst Haeckel, and the Fin de Siècle philosophy of Cultural Decadence and Nihilism as promoted by Friedrich Nietzsche. For this reason, I have always been interested in Nietzsche’s reception, and this was how I got in contact with Cioran. Even today, such an ambiguity between progressivity and decadence seems to be timelessly actual and present in international contemporary Art and Postmodern Philosophy. This is one reason, why I have held on to Nietzsche and Cioran to the present date.
One of the first of his books I read, was the The Syllogisms of Bitterness in English language in 2013 (I read the German translation from 1980 several years later). Besides classical academic philosophical argumentation, I have been fascinated with alternative linguistic formats such as Nietzsche’s aphorisms and Cioran’s syllogisms, because on the one hand they allow a more metaphoric and powerful speech, on the other hand their concise format demands a very pointed and clear argument.
From my point of view, Cioran’s pessimism offers one of the most profound critiques of several progress optimistic cornerstones of Western history since ancient Greek times in terms of human condition, history, cultural evolution, creative urge, heroism, and humanistic morals, which have often been taken for granted and have remained rather unrequested as positive values in the mainstream of Western philosophy until the 19th century. Nevertheless, besides all their unquestionable qualities for the sake of cultural and technological development, such values have also provided the cornerstones of a History gyrating in a succession of war, discrimination, and mass extinction, which culminated in World War II during Cioran’s lifetime. In the aftermath of this war, an essential critique of the philosophical cornerstones of Western history became even more crucial for Critical Contemporary Philosophy, from Postmodernism (Jacques Derrida, Max Horkheimer, Frederic Jameson) to Posthumanism (Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti, Kathrin Hayles), which is also important for my current studies on the ambiguous relationship of Contemporary Art, Technology, and Postmodern Network Philosophy (Donna Haraway, Anna Tsing, Bruno Latour, Timothy Morton) against the backdrop of the social and ecological crises resulting from the Anthropocene.
R.M.: Have you made your post-graduate studies about Cioran’s works? If so, what were the general frameworks of your research, the methodologies adopted, the theoretical/hermeneutical goals you meant to accomplish? Could you tell us a little about the insertion of Cioran as an object of studies in German universities? Are his writings and ideas widely studied and debated?
K.B.: It is hard to say. In Germany, every University is a little universe in itself with various different foci of research – especially when it comes to a comprehensive field such as Philosophy. I do not know any German Philosophy institute or scholar that especially focuses on Cioran. So, I would say that Cioran is rather an insider tip in German Academic Philosophy. During my Master studies at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, when I minored Philosophy, we never had lectures on Cioran. I cannot say much about his reception at other universities, but I know there is a dissertation by Diana Lohwasser on the problem of existence in the works of Camus, Cioran, and Lévinas at Cologne University (2015) proving that he is still present in German Academia. Anyhow, as I have already mentioned, it was not before my PHD time in 2013, when I studied the reception of Nietzsche in the 20th century and encountered Cioran.
R.M.: Are the entire works of Cioran – boththe French and the Romanian books – published in German? Are there other translators besides Paul Celan? Could you tell us a little about the German reception of Cioran’s works, beyond academia, its penetration and resonance in the various segments of German culture (literature, cinema, theater, music)?
K.B.: I read mostly English translations of the works of Cioran, as they were rather available in the libraries which I know. So I feel not quite competent to give an appropriate overview on the German translations. In general, I found rather little Academic literature on Cioran in German language. But I liked Bernd Mattheus: Cioran: Porträt eines radikalen Skeptikers (2007). Besides this, I have mainly read English receptions too, above all Susan Sontag’s Under the sign of Saturn (1975), and Willi G. Regier’s comparatism between Cioran and Nietzsche (Cioran’s Nietzsche, 2005). Nevertheless, Cioran seemed to have become more and more famous in German popular scientific works, and in the supplement of newspapers and magazines in recent times. For example, during the last years, several articles have been published on Deutschlandfunk Kultur, one of the most famous German news and cultural channels, such as Burkhard Reinartz’s Ein Gedanke muss ätzen wie ein Gifttropfen” [A thought must bite like a drop of poison, 2016]. Anyhow, due to Cioran’s fascination with National Socialism in his early works, he is a highly controversial thinker.
R.M.: The German reception and overview of Cioran is especially important to me as the Romanian philosopher lived perpetually haunted, when in Paris, by his “infamous past”, as Marta Petreu puts it, marked by a desperate, reckless utopian Nietzscheanism which led him to support the Iron Guard while praising Hitler and the Nazi phenomenon (when he was living and studying in Germany, in the mid-1930s, thanks to a scholarship that had been granted to him). Thus, whether it is justifiable or not, the Romanian author is often compared to Martin Heidegger and other 20th century intellectuals who engaged or sympathized with totalitarian ideologies and regimes, right and left. There’s an interview with Fritz J. Raddatz, contained in the volume of the Entretiens, in which the German interviewer puts Cioran against the wall, so to speak, accusing him of sheer irresponsibility, if not downright insanity, questioning if his ideas, so cynical and nihilistic, would not eventually stimulate indifference or evil and individually and on a collective (sociological) level. He then compares Cioran to Gottfried Benn, who would also be a “dangerous” author. Speaking of Cioran’s “infamous past” (Petreu), how has it shaped his general reception among German intellectuals from the late 20th on? Are there other important critics, such as Fritz J. Raddatz, who condemn Cioran’s ideas on ethical or moral grounds, accusing him of a cryptofascism or whatnot?
K.B.: In contemporary German scholarship and journalism, critical-historical reflection and reappraisal, especially when it comes to Fascism, Nationalism, and WWII, are important issues, and so is a critical perspective on prominent thinkers and their possible involvements. This cannot be surprising at all, since the barbarian and shameful massacrers caused by the National Socialists are widely considered a sore spot in German history still casting their shadows in contemporary times. Nevertheless, I think that it is still inaccurate to judge historical persons unreflectingly in the light of the knowledge and morals of contemporary societies. Many people would prefer to look back in history in terms of black and white emphasizing a binary conception of the “bad or naïve guys” who followed or fell for Fascist ideas and, therefore, should be bashed, and the “good and smart guys”, who being against them, should be praised. But History proves to be much more complex. Thereby, it is often shocking to see, how many smart and intellectual people, respected and adored by scholars until today, such as Martin Heidegger, Gottfried Benn, Emil Cioran or even Gustav Mensching, the philosopher of tolerance, have sympathized with totalitarian regimes or even (at least temporally) cooperated with them, whereby many authors regretted their sympathies (or at least pretended to do so) later. From our contemporary state of knowledge, such an often admiration for terror regimes surely cannot be ignored and let alone excused, but since these authors are important parts of History, coining our way of thinking to present times, we got to find ways to deal with them. This makes a critical reception of their vita and their works even more important and necessary. Unfortunately, the actual trend of “bashing”, performed in several media, seems to be to less critical or at least much less self-critical towards itself. Thereby, it often appears to me a little single-minded and populistic by falling back in the black-and-white thinking, mentioned above. I do not think any author can be “dangerous” per se, or per se not; instead, ideas could become dangerous (maybe the word “toxic” would be more appropriate here), especially by means of their reception. For this reason, I am convinced that a profound and at the same time critical reception of historical personalities beyond idolization, whitewashing, or damnation on the role they played in their historical epoch and the role they should play in the discourses today, neither ignoring the content of their work nor their biography, is the best way to produce accurate forms of historical knowledge, dealing with the ambiguous past and, maybe, learning from historical wrong tracks. Besides, from my experiences with Cioran’s reception in Germany, such a critical reception is much more common in Academic as well as popular scientific and journalistic writing than pure “bashing”, which is also proven by several articles on Deutschlandfunk channel.
R.M.: Do you find reasonable the claim of certain critics, Susan Sontag for instance, that Cioran is the most important continuator of Nietzsche in the 20th century, and nothing more? Some would even go as far as to say that Cioran is but an emulator of Nietzsche, rewriting in a slightly different style about the same themes, paradoxes, contradiction… Or perhaps it is not a matter of being a continuator, but instead a philosophical inheritor?
K.B.: I guess, he found inspiration in many of Nietzsche’s ideas. One of the most important ones was the Cultural Pessimism also mentioned by Sontag. Though I really appreciate her writings, her analyses of Cioran’s relation to Nietzsche falls far too short, because she even oversees the different conceptions of Cultural Pessimism. For Nietzsche the idea of development and overcoming of the (from his point of view) miserable state of 19th century culture was an important element epitomized in the concept of the Übermensch (superhuman). In contrast to this conception, for Cioran the ideas of resentment and acceptance of the impossibility of such an improvement, leading him to reject the emphasis of a future cultural development towards anything better, became more and more important in his works. Thereby, Cioran deepened the Cultural Pessimism much more uncompromising than Nietzsche not only by identifying the symptoms of Decadence, such as the wrong tracks of bourgeois Christian morals and hypocrisy, but by focusing on the highly flawed conception of the conditio humana itself.
R.M.: It seems to me there is nothing as undetermined, and hard to define, as Cioran’s overall position with regard to Nietzsche. There is no single description of the German philosopher in his entire works that could be picked as the definitive Nietzsche, according to Cioran. Like Nietzsche, as described in The temptation to exist, Cioran is “a sum of attitudes” himself, with “no will to order”, “no thirst for unity” whatsoever. However, Cioran’s interpretation is far from being a consensus among scholars and readers of Nietzsche in general. Nietzsche, according to his Romanian reader, appears as a mutant creature of sorts, a living metamorphosis, a daredevil of nature, so to speak: “das noch nicht festgestellte Tier, the animal whose type is not yet determined, fixed”, as Cioran nominally quotes him in The Fall into Time (1964). Nietzsche draws this definition of the human being as such out of his own subjective existence and experience; from his own individual stance and self-image, he yields a whole anthropology. Cioran does the same (they are both physiologists whose philosophy is inseparable from their ailments). Cioran does not ostentatiously praise Nietzsche, quite the contrary would be true, but he sometimes refers to Nietzsche to imply that he considers himself just the same (elective affinities), or else he refers to Nietzsche to mark his willed distance with respect to the idol of his youth. It could be said that they both match Nietzsche’s famous definition of man as das noch nicht festgestellte Tier.
Another portrait of the German philosopher, also within the framework of his French writings, is found in All Gall Is Divided, the English title for Syllogismes de l’amertume (1952). You have written an article about it, titled “On the power of frustration”, which focuses on the reception of Nietzsche by Cioran, based on this very aphorism (a relatively long one, by the way). Here, too, we can glimpse at Cioran himself through his description of Nietzsche: “A nomad mind, he is good at varying his disequilibriums. In all matters, he has championed the pro and the con: this is the procedure of those who give themselves up to speculation for lack of being able to write tragedies — to disperse themselves in many destinies. Nonetheless, by exhibiting his hysterias, Nietzsche has spared us the shame of ours; his miseries were salutary for us. He has opened the age of ‘complexes’.”
How do you interpret Cioran’s position with regard to Nietzsche from a chronological-diachronic standpoint, before and after the “great divide” which is the movement of expatriation and the adoption of the French language, before and after Cioran’s seconde naissance, according to Patrice Bollon? Do you sense a significant mindshift, namely a negative movement with regard to Nietzsche, translated in terms of self-distancing, singularity-marking and differentiation, rejection and refusal? Is it plausible to state that the young Cioran is pro-Nietzsche whereas the older, French writer, is anti-Nietzsche? Or that would be rather a sheer generalization, a simplistic (and unjustified) conclusion, one that does not stand the proof of a closer reading of both his Romanian and his French texts?
K.B.: I think that Cioran is or became as much or as little an anti-Nietzsche as Nietzsche is an anti-Schopenhauer. There has been a certain historical line and movement of Western pessimistic / nihilistic Philosophy with a very individualistic proponent. As shown by Willis G. Regier’s study (Cioran’s Nietzsche, 2005), Cioran’s writings of the early years were especially inspired by Nietzsche’s theory, while Cioran emancipated himself in the progress of his later works more and more to become an independent, eccentric author. Concerning this point he is line with Bollon (and also with me). Nevertheless, from my point of view, drawing a coherent line of development from a follower of Nietzsche to an anti-Nietzsche thinker, would fall much too short, especially because both authors haver a rather eccentric, often fragmented, writing style, defying the ideas of stringency, coherence, and chronology themselves. For analysing Cioran’s references to Nietzsche, I think that it would be more productive to elaborate explicitly on particular ideas, motives, and contexts presented in their works in terms of similarities, differences, references, and contradictions, rather than to try to construct a chronology of an alienating development or a “great divide”. For example, the research objective I am particularly interested in, is Cioran’s reception of Nietzsche’s complex idea of the Übermensch (superhuman) contextualized with the idea of the Eternal Return of the Same. Nietzsche talked about the hope for a superhuman to come up to improve the human condition and culture. Cioran in contrast, spoke of the disappointment of such hopes remaining unfulfilled and – what is worse – unfulfillable, for, due to its intrinsically flawed essence, the imperfect human condition will always repeat itself throughout History. Thereby, Cioran reproaches Nietzsche in several of his works, for basically misunderstanding human nature. For example, when he (Cioran) states: “He [Nietzsche] only observed humans from far away. If he would have approached them more closely, he could never have conspire nor praised the idea of the superhuman”, and assigned to Nietzsche “a wrong image of life and history“.
R.M.: An important German intellectual who manifests renewed interest in Cioran – in such a way that many of his texts have been dedicated to discussing Cioran’s ideas, raising philosophical attention to his existence as an author – is Peter Sloterdijk. In an article published both in the Magazine littéraire and in the Cahier L’Herne Cioran, he sustains that “Cioran was the first to accomplish what Nietzsche had wanted to demask as though it had existed since always: a philosophy of pure resentment.” In one of his most recent books, Nach Gott, we find some further elaboration on such a philosophy of pure resentment: it amounts to the nihilistic atrophy of ancient Gnosis down into a dark Existentialism marked by the pride of one’s own incurability, manifesting itself in a generalized mockery against all tendency to clarity whatsoever. According to Sloterdijk, the somber existentialist type of thinker personified by Cioran just cannot forget the world as he cannot forget himself, thus living in the permanent the memory of pure anger. They are the pathetic being-stuck-type, stubborn victims of the coercion of must-be – their spark of self-consciousness lights up by the insistence in the right of remaining heart-felt.” Do you agree with Sloterdijk, in that Cioran consciously conceives and deliberately accomplishes a philosophy of pure resentment, in the opposite direction of everything that Nietzsche had diagnosed and proposed in terms of the psychology of resentment, and the very need for overcoming it?
K.B.: Yes, kind of. When I first read Cioran, there was a huge fascination but, honestly, it was no love on first sight. Thereby, it was especially Cioran’s reveling in his attitude of resentment, which made the bitterness of his syllogisms appear so “bitter” to me, metaphorically, a Philosophy at the Edge of the Abyss. Nevertheless, and above all, it was the emphasis with which he performed such a resentment, which made his cultural pessimism so striking to me too, since Cioran did not hold a fatalistic view, but rather a creative, productive idea of Pessimism which makes for a profound critique of the axioms and cornerstones of Western Philosophy. So, from my point of view, the resentment displayed by Cioran, in contrast with Nietzsche, is not simply a depowering one, but it also provides a critical basis for empowerment and emancipation from traditional regimes of power, knowledge, and value production that are in Western culture. Such a philosophical attitude foreshadows the idea of Deconstruction (Derrida), which is crucial for Postmodern Critical Philosophy, as well as the Antinatalist Philosophy, Literature, and movement (e.g.. Anaba, Ligotti).
R.M.: In his interview with Fernando Savater, Cioran says: “I believe that philosophy is no longer possible but as fragment. In the form of explosion. It is no longer possible to develop one chapter after another, in the form of a treatise. In this sense, Nietzsche has been eminently liberating. It was he who sabotaged the style of academic philosophy, who attacked the very idea of system. He has been liberating for us, because after him we can say anything… Now we are all fragmentists, even when we write seemingly coordinated books. Which also goes with our style of civilization…”
Reflecting upon Nietzsche’s fragmentary demand [exigence fragmentaire] — intimately linked as it would be to his tragic outlook on existence, and to Nietzsche’ unique style, conceived as the artof “giving style to one’s character” — Maurice Blanchot sets out on an inquiry to answer the following questions: What has happened to Nietzsche, today? And why was Nietzsche’s fate to be handed out to counterfeiters? His answer is that, by the end of his life, Nietzsche would have felt an increasing urge to make himself (widely) understood, thus betraying his fragmentary principle or demand (Blanchot), in such a way that the frail balance between two contradictory desires, that of being understood and that of not being understood (ergo misunderstood), leant more and more toward the former. “Where does this sort of trickery come from that allowed, not without good faith, for imposing a compilation of editors as the essential work? From prejudices, and above all that according to the prejudice according to which there is no great philosopher without a great systematic work.” Blanchot also argues that there are two speeches in Nietzsche’s discourse: one that is discontinuous and fragmentary, and another one that is continuous and dialectical, inserted in the weaves of the history of ideas, in dialogue with other philosophers and historical figures, past and present. To sum up, Nietzsche ended up in the wrong hands, counterfeited and instrumentalized as an avatar of the Nazi ideology (only enabled by a misreading of the notions of the Will to Power and Übermensch), due to his lack of caution in not making himself utterly useless and unusable (fragmentary, “incomprehensible”) for the purposes of no matter what cause or ideal. He who warned “Above all, do not mistake me for someone else”, ended up being mistaken for someone else.
Do you think Cioran would agree with Blanchot’s assessment of Nietzsche’s legacy? In your understanding, could that ultimate mistake of Nietzsche, as he puts it, namely the urge to make himself understood through a more coherent, unified presentation of his philosophy (Will to Power, the unfinished book that was falsified and finished by others), could that be the reason why Cioran distances himself form Nietzsche the farther he is from his youth, writing in French? As if that irresistible desire to be understood, reflected in some of Nietzsche’s late writings, was a lesson that Cioran would soon learn by himself, and then avoid, thanks to the memory of Nietzsche’s alleged weakness of comprehensibility. “A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself.” Wouldn’t that be the reason why Cioran faces the consequences of being misunderstood, misjudged, mistaken, also ignored, rejected, “cancelled” – inasmuch as he remained loyal to the fragmentary demand of being “a sum of attitudes”, having created an utterly subjective, “pathographical” (Sloterdijk), ultimately uninterpretable work?
K.B.: I would totally agree with Cioran’s statement in terms of modern Philosophy being marked by fragmentation. As for Nietzsche, such a fragmentation and lack of consistence are the boon and the bane of his philosophy. I wouldn’t agree with Blanchot’s statement that Nietzsche was uninterpretable. I would rather say his works demand an interpretation in terms of Modern and Postmodern Hermeneutics. Following Frederic Jameson, Jean-François Lyotard, Michail Bachtin and many other 20th century thinkers, fragmentation, ambiguity, interminability, and the absence of a big coherent Story (Lyotard) are central elements of Postmodern thinking. Thereby, these paradigms should not necessarily be seen as something negative, but, following Roland Barthes’s theory of the Death of the Author, they also reflect a shift of paradigms from a mono-linear producent-recipient relation focusing on the perspective of the author, to the processes of communication, reception, and supplementation, with the focus on the recipients and their interpretation, as co-producents of knowledge. Even so, such Hermeneutics is often considered as a rather Postmodern phenomenon since the 20th century, as a result of the social, scientific, and cultural fragmentation that increasingly marked the culture of Europe and the United Stated during the 19th century too, as shown by the works of historian Jürgen Osterhammel. Against this backdrop, Nietzsche’s fragmented style reflects a particular Zeitgeist of an era that had already lost its belief in a single universal truth, and therefore in the only universal truth of a single interpretation as well. And yes, I would agree, this is a philosophical Sword of Damocles. One the one hand, it offers interpretational freedom, just as it makes such authors who perform a fragmentary style, such as Nietzsche, easy to include in diverse discourses, which might be one of the reasons for his huge popularity in Academia as well as in popular culture to the present day. On other hand, it makes such philosophy liable to abuse, as proven by the Nietzsche’s appropriation by the NS ideology. This is the negative side of ambiguity also exemplified by the dark side of Modern / Postmodern thinking and paradigms, which are often glorified in terms of liberation and emancipation. But freedom, even the freedom of interpretation, can also in some cases lead to disastrous consequences and the perversion of philosophical ideas, if they fall into the wrong hands, which can be exemplified by Nietzsche’s reception. So, I would say, the critique of Nietzsche in terms of the fragmented style of his works imply a much more general and important critique of the Modern / Postmodern condition of thinking, and the crisis of truth itself.
R.M.: Do you have a favorite aphorism by Cioran, or more than one, that you know by heart and carries with you? A favorite Romanian book and a favorite French one?
K.B.: I still like the Syllogisms of Bitterness. I do not have a favorite syllogism but a favorite phrase: “If Noah was prophet he would have scuttled the arc.”
R.M.: Dear professor Borchhardt, I would like to manifest my gratitude once again for your kindness in granting us this interview. I hope this may be the first step of a durable and fruitful philosophical interchange, revolving Cioran, between our countries, Brazil and Germany. Would you like to conclude by leaving some last words to our readers?
K.B.: I would like to thank you and the audience for your attention and invite everybody to contact me for any questions, critique, or discussion. In any case, similar to Nietzsche, Cioran was not the kind of thinker telling you what you want to hear, but he rather said what needed to be said so as to critically reflect upon the very basics of Western History and values.
 “Ein Geheimtipp für Kenner”, a German phrase that stuck to Cioran ever since Verena von der Heyden-Rynsch employed it, on a newspaper article, in 1980, to characterize Cioran in the context of the critical reception of his books in Germany, highlighting Cioran’s obscurity or clandestinity, which made him known only by qualified readers who would be familiar with (“inside”) those authors who, like Cioran, are obscure, off-beat, unknown to the wide public. See https://portalcioranbr.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/rechenfehler-der-natur-verena-heyden-rynsch-2/
 “Nothing is more irritating than those works which ‘coordinate’ the luxuriant products of a mind that has focused on just about everything except a system. What is the use of giving a so-called coherence to Nietzsche’s ideas, for example, on the pretext that they revolve around a central motif? Nietzsche is a sum of attitudes, and it only diminishes him to comb his work for a will to order, a thirst for unity. A captive of his moods, he has recorded their variations. His philosophy, a meditation on his whims, is mistakenly searched by the scholars for the constants it rejects.” – CIORAN, “Dealing with the Mystics”, The temptation to exist.
 Original quote from the German translation: „Er hat die Menschen nur aus der Ferne beobachtet. Hätte er sie aus der Nähe betrachtet, so hätte er niemals den Übermenschen aushecken noch preisen können.“; Emil M. Cioran, Vom Nachteil geboren zu sein; Gedanken und Aphorismen, Frankfurt am Main, 1979, 71/72.
 Original quote from the German translation: „ein Falsches Bild des Lebens und der Geschichte“, ibid.
 SLOTERDIJK, Peter, « Le prieur de l’Ordre de la Sainte Folle Témérité », Magazine Littéraire, mai 2011. Available in Portuguese : https://portalcioranbr.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/prior-ordem-santa-temeridade/
 CIORAN, Emil, Entretien avec Fernando Savater, in Entretiens. Paris : Gallimard, 1995, p. 22.
 The Gay Science, aphorism 290: “One thing is needful. — To ‘give style’ to one’s character — a great and rare art! It is practiced by those who survey all the strengths and weaknesses of their nature and then fit them into an artistic plan until every one of them appears as art and reason and even weaknesses delight the eye. Here a large mass of second nature has been added; there a piece of original nature has been removed-both times through long practice and daily work at it. (transl. by Walter Kaufmann, 1974).
 BLANCHOT, Maurice, A conversa infinita II (A Experiência Limite). Trad. de João Moura Jr. São Paulo: Escuta, 2007.
 Original quote from the German translation: “Wenn Noah die Gabe gehabt hätte in der Zukunft zu lesen, hätte er ohne Zweifel die Arche versenkt.“. Emil M. Cioran; Syllogismen der Bitterkeit, Frankfurt am Main, 1980, 74.