I’ve returned to Cioran recently. His essay on de Maistre in Anathemas and Admirations contains some of the most beautiful and intelligent lines I’ve read in months. The essay itself is a model of bemused, respectfully hostile criticism. Bits of Cioran the aphorist are undeniably precious, but there is value there. He was the real thing.
An aside- Badger may recall with me the Romanian gentlemen who would spend hours on the patio of the bookstore in Baton Rouge smoking and yelling at each other. I miss those guys, and feel somehow responsible for the fact that our pre-fabbed version of cafe culture was so woefully inadequate. The romantic, excitable temperaments that shone from those gentlemen deserved more than that cheap furniture on a slab of concrete surrounded by Walmart, Petsmart, fast food joints, etc etc.