Dissects Man's decadence in a remarkable series of moving and beautiful pieces. “To miss reading this book would be a deprivation.”—Los Angeles Times

E. M. Cioran confronts the place of today's world in the context of human history—focusing on such major issues of the twentieth century as human progress, fanaticism, and science—in this nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe.


Touching upon Man's need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran's pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certainty that renders them delicate, vivid, and memorable.

“When A Short History of Decay was published, it tended to polarize readers. Many dismissed it as overly morose and pessimistic, completely out of tune with the obligatory optimism of postwar European culture. Others praised it for precisely these reasons (in his review of the book, Maurice Nadeau proclaimed Cioran ‘the one whose arrival has been prepared by all the philosophers of the void and of the absurd, harbinger of bad news par excellence’). The original impact of Cioran’s book can still be felt in reading A Short History of Decay today.”—Eugene Thacker, from his Foreword

A Short History of Decay by E. M. Cioran

$16.99Price
  • Arcade Publishing 2012

    New paperback

    200 pages