93 Emil Cioran Quotes from Romanian Philosopher and Essayist

Emil Cioran, born in 1911 in Răşinari, Romania, began his literary journey writing in Romanian.

Raised by a priestly father and a depressive mother, he suffered insomnia from his youth. Cioran studied philosophy in Bucharest and became a renowned publicist.

After moving to Paris in 1936, he continued writing in Romanian until 1943.

However, in 1946, he transitioned to writing in French, producing works that delved into his lifelong concerns, expressing deep disillusionment.


His French writings, such as “A Short History of Decay”, were marked by classical rigor. Cioran’s works spanned over three decades, portraying a mixture of misanthropy, irony and bitterness.

Though he couldn’t return to Romania during communist rule, he garnered international acclaim later in life. Cioran passed away in Paris in 1995.

I have curated a list of the top quotes by Emil Cioran.

Best Emil Cioran Quotes


Tears do not burn except in solitude. ~ Emil Cioran.


Skepticism is the sadism of embittered souls. ~ Emil Cioran.


To suffer is the great modality of taking the world seriously. ~ Emil Cioran.


If we could truly see ourselves the way others see us we’d disappear on the spot. ~ Emil Cioran.


Wisdom disguises our wounds; it teaches us how to bleed in secret. ~ Emil Cioran.


To defy heredity is to defy billions of years, to defy the first cell. ~ Emil Cioran.


I’m simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously? ~ Emil Cioran.

Our works, whatever they may be, derive from our incapacity to kill or to kill ourselves. ~ Emil Cioran.


Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation. ~ Emil Cioran.

One can experience loneliness in two ways: by feeling lonely in the world or by feeling the loneliness of the world. ~ Emil Cioran.

The truly solitary being is not the man who is abandoned by men, but the man who suffers in their midst, who drags his desert through the marketplace and deploys his talents as a smiling leper, a mountebank of the irreparable. ~ Emil Cioran.


No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one. ~ Emil Cioran.

Read day and night, devour books – these sleeping pills – not to know but to forget! Through books you can retrace your way back to the origins of spleen, discarding history and its illusions. ~ Emil Cioran.

Famous Emil Cioran Quotes

What music appeals to in us it is difficult to know; what we do know is that music reaches a zone so deep that madness itself cannot penetrate there. ~ Emil Cioran.


There is no limit to suffering. ~ Emil Cioran.

To act is to anchor in the imminent future. ~ Emil Cioran.

Trees are massacred, houses go up – faces, faces everywhere. Man is spreading. Man is the cancer of the earth. ~ Emil Cioran.

Shame on the man who goes to his grave escorted by the miserable hopes that have kept him alive. ~ Emil Cioran.


Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness. ~ Emil Cioran.

I feel completely detached from any country, any group. I am a metaphysically displaced person. ~ Emil Cioran.

It has been a long time since philosophers have read men’s souls. It is not their task, we are told. Perhaps. But we must not be surprised if they no longer matter much to us. ~ Emil Cioran.

Nostalgia, more than anything, gives us the shudder of our own imperfection. ~ Emil Cioran.

If there was a God of sorrow, he would grow black heavy wings, to soar not for the skies, but for inferno. ~ Emil Cioran.

Insomnia is a vertiginous lucidity that can convert paradise itself into a place of torture. ~ Emil Cioran.


Nothing proves that we are more than nothing. ~ Emil Cioran.

The sole means of protecting your solitude is to offend everyone, beginning with those you love. ~ Emil Cioran.

What are you waiting for in order to give up? ~ Emil Cioran.

Top Emil Cioran Quotes

We cannot be normal and alive at the same time. ~ Emil Cioran.

By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing; but instead of nonchalantly promenading our own corruption, we exude our sweat and grow winded upon the fetid air. ~ Emil Cioran.


If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would vanish on the spot. ~ Emil Cioran.

In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world. ~ Emil Cioran.

Utopia is a mixture of childish rationalism and secularized angelism. ~ Emil Cioran.

Philosophy is a corrective against sadness. Yet there still are people who believe in the profundity of philosophy! ~ Emil Cioran.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them. ~ Emil Cioran.

What surrounds us we endure better for giving it a name – and moving on. ~ Emil Cioran.

We are afraid of the enormity of the possible. ~ Emil Cioran.

Beware of thinkers whose minds function only when they are fueled by a quotation. ~ Emil Cioran.


You cannot protect your solitude if you cannot make yourself odious. ~ Emil Cioran.

Not to be born is undoubtedly the best plan of all. Unfortunately, it is within no one’s reach. ~ Emil Cioran.

True confessions are written with tears only. But my tears would drown the world, as my inner fire would reduce it to ashes. ~ Emil Cioran.

As long as one believes in philosophy, one is healthy; Sickness begins when one starts to think. ~ Emil Cioran.

Popular Emil Cioran Quotes

Sometimes I wish I were a cannibal – less for the pleasure of eating someone than for the pleasure of vomiting him. ~ Emil Cioran.


The limit of every pain is an even greater pain. ~ Emil Cioran.

Is it possible that existence is our exile and nothingness our home? ~ Emil Cioran.

Everything is pathology, except for indifference. ~ Emil Cioran.

I dream of a language whose words, like fists, would fracture jaws. ~ Emil Cioran.

Depression exhumes our shames. ~ Emil Cioran.

Democracy: a festival of mediocrity. ~ Emil Cioran.

No matter which way we go, it is no better than any other. It is all the same whether you achieve something or not, have faith or not, just as it is all the same whether you cry or remain silent. ~ Emil Cioran.


I cannot contribute anything to this world because I only have one method: agony. ~ Emil Cioran.

Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, chaos is being yourself. ~ Emil Cioran.

What can be said, lacks reality. Only what fails to make its way into words exists and counts. ~ Emil Cioran.

Man is a robot with defects. ~ Emil Cioran.

Great Emil Cioran Quotes

Only superficial minds approach an idea with delicacy. ~ Emil Cioran.

As the years pass, the number of those we can communicate with diminishes. When there is no longer anyone to talk to, at last we will be as we were before stooping to a name. ~ Emil Cioran.


A decadent civilization compromises with its disease, cherishes the virus infecting it, loses its self-respect. ~ Emil Cioran.

I may find myself alone. But am I not already alone in this world from which I no longer expect anything. ~ Emil Cioran.

This very second has vanished forever, lost in the anonymous mass of the irrevocable. It will never return. I suffer from this and I do not. Everything is unique – and insignificant. ~ Emil Cioran.

Only optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die? ~ Emil Cioran.

One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland – and no other. ~ Emil Cioran.


It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late. ~ Emil Cioran.

An aphorism? Fire without flames. Understandable that no one tries to warm himself at it. ~ Emil Cioran.

Powerful Emil Cioran Quotes

Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone. ~ Emil Cioran.

The multiplication of our kind borders on the obscene; the duty to love them, on the preposterous. ~ Emil Cioran.

My mission is to kill time, and time’s to kill me in its turn. How comfortable one is among murderers. ~ Emil Cioran.

How good would it be if one could die by throwing oneself into an infinite void. ~ Emil Cioran.

If just once you were depressed for no reason, you have been so all your life without knowing. ~ Emil Cioran.


What is pity but the vice of kindness. ~ Emil Cioran.

I would like to go mad on one condition, namely, that I would become a happy madman, lively and always in a good mood, without any troubles and obsessions, laughing senselessly from morning to night. ~ Emil Cioran.

I live only because it is in my power to die when I choose to: without the idea of suicide, I’d have killed myself right away. ~ Emil Cioran.

A man who fears ridicule will never go far, for good or ill: he remains on this side of this talents, and even if he has genius, he is doomed to mediocrity. ~ Emil Cioran.


The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live – moreover, the only one. ~ Emil Cioran.

Wise Emil Cioran Quotes

The Art of Love: knowing how to combine the temperament of a vampire with the discretion of an anemone. ~ Emil Cioran.

Losing love is so rich a philosophical ordeal that it makes a hairdresser into a rival of Socrates. ~ Emil Cioran.

One doesn’t live in a country, one lives in a language. ~ Emil Cioran.

A heart without music is like beauty without melancholy. ~ Emil Cioran.


Consciousness is nature’s nightmare. ~ Emil Cioran.

Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth. ~ Emil Cioran.

A book is a suicide postponed. ~ Emil Cioran.

We would not be interested in human beings if we did not have the hope of someday meeting someone worse off than ourselves. ~ Emil Cioran.

Negation is the mind’s first freedom, yet a negative habit is fruitful only so long as we exert ourselves to overcome it, adapt it to our needs; once acquired it can imprison us. ~ Emil Cioran.

Great persecutors are recruited among martyrs whose heads haven’t been cut off. ~ Emil Cioran.


We derive our vitality from our store of madness. ~ Emil Cioran.

Impossible to spend sleepless nights and accomplish anything: if, in my youth, my parents had not financed my insomnias, I should surely have killed myself. ~ Emil Cioran.

Progress is the injustice each generation commits with regard to its predecessors. ~ Emil Cioran.

To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten. ~ Emil Cioran.

The mind is the result of the torments the flesh undergoes or inflicts upon itself. ~ Emil Cioran.

So these were the 93 top Emil Cioran quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Emiliano Zapata quotes and Simon Bolivar quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar