Saturday, December 27, 2014

'Searching for Cioran' by Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston.

Unfinished sympathy. First part is great. Cioran's youth in Rasjinari. But Ilinca Zarifopol passed away before she could finish the full biography. So, the rest is really some unfinished parts put together by her husband Kenneth R. Johnston. Two chapters about 'Romania's Transfiguration' and Cioran's so-called 'fascist' sympathies. And then there is the part about Ilinca visiting Emil in the hospital. An ailing old man with Alzheimer. Cringeworthy. It gets better when she travels herself to Romania. Not to find out stuff about Cioran, but to look for her father and her uncle Paul. It's all very sketchy. That's the part where i am now. She does write a lot about the republication of 'Romania's Transfiguration' in 1990. But Emil was not stupid. He quickly hurried to republish the book after the Romanian revolution in 1989. Opportunistic? She hardly makes that link though. Yes, in the 2nd part of the book. She plays on sentiment. But Cioran was never about 'sentiment'. Notes written by a woman in love. My conclusion is that we need a biography of his lifelong partner Simone Boué. She was the complicated part in the life of Cioran. Looking after the master with care for 40 years. For whatever reason. Love, maybe... Her story is a tragic one. She killed herself 2 years after his death. Drowned in the sea.

PS: Just skipped to Appendix 2 'Articles by Cioran Reflecting His Experiences In Germany', on E.M. Cioran's very outspoken and Nietzschean 'sympathy for a young Hitler' in 1933-1934. Shivers!!!! He was wrong! So wrong! And he knew it! What does the author want to proof by publishing this 'wrong' article though? In perspective: it was hard to see what was going to happen in 1933 and 1934. A lot of people stepped willingly or unwillingly into the mass hysteria of the moment as Cioran explained later as an apology. It was hard not to be swept away by the fascist tsunami that was about to come. But the fact that Cioran gave permission to republish the book in 1990, meant that all through the years he clung to the same ideas. So, no apologies...

You can forgive a young man for having these ideas in 1933-1934. You cannot forgive a skilled writer & thinker for sticking to the same ideas in 1990. Then it's indeed Tschüss, Emil.

'Searching for Cioran', by Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnson, edited by Kenneth R. Johnson, foreword by Matei Calinescu, Indiana University Press, 2009.

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