ALL GALL IS DIVIDED • E.M. Cioran
Arcade / 2019
Paperback / 168 pages

All Gall Is Divided is the second book Cioran published in French after moving from his native Romania and establishing himself in Paris. It revealed him as an aphorist in a long tradition descending from the ancient Greeks through La Rochefoucault but with a gift for lacerating, subversively off-kilter insights, a twentieth-century nose for the absurdities of the human condition, and what Baudelaire called "spleen."

The aphorisms collected here address themes from the atrophy of utterance and the condition of the West to the abyss, solitude, time, religion, music, the vitality of love, history, and the void. The award-winning poet and translator Richard Howard has characterized them as "manic humor, howls of pain, and a vestige of tears," but, as he notes too, in these expressions of the philosopher's existential estrangement, there glows "a certain sweetness for all of what Cioran calls 'amertume.'"

︎Condition note: New