I hate wise men because they are lazy, cowardly, and prudent.

To the philosophers’ equanimity, which makes them indifferent to both pleasure and pain, I prefer devouring passions.

The sage knows neither the tragedy of passion, nor the fear of death, nor risk and enthusiasm, nor barbaric, grotesque, or sublime heroism.

He talks in proverbs and gives advice.

He does not live, feel, desire, wait for anything.

He levels down all the incongruities of life and then suffers the consequences.

So much more complex is the man who suffers from limitless anxiety.

The wise man’s life is empty and sterile, for it is free from contradiction and despair.

An existence full of irreconcilable contradictions is so much richer and creative.

The wise man’s resignation springs from inner void, not inner fire.

I would rather die of fire than of void.

On the Heights of Despair

Emil Cioran (8 April 1911 – 20 June 1995) was a Romanian philosopher and essayist, who published works in both Romanian and French.

His work has been noted for its pervasive philosophical pessimism, and frequently engages with issues of suffering, decay, and nihilism.

Among his best-known works are On the Heights of Despair (1934) and The Trouble with Being Born (1973).

Cioran‘s first French book, A Short History of Decay, was awarded the prestigious Rivarol Prize in 1950.

The Latin Quarter of Paris was his permanent residence and he lived much of his life in isolation with his partner Simone Boué.