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Indeed French discourse tends to be entangled... there is a taste for detail, for nuance, for in-phrase sentences and a need to cover everything that is to be said in one breath, that makes long, winding phrases quite usual. A bit like the paragraph above :)
One can hardly live in France and not be touched by the grandiosity: either it gets on one's nerves, or one starts adopting it without realising.
I for one have read the above text with a vivid feeling of empathy, so many points are valid today in every life.
Ennui is not exactly boredom, it may mean worry, or trouble, but also lassitude, fatigue, the sense employed by Cioran. There is Sartre in that, l'affirmation de l'absurdité d'être, and the profound ennui resulting from that realisation. A french writer once explained for him the verb "faire" was trivial, unimportant, while the verb "être" on the other hand, was fundamental, expressing someone's very essence.
"la fatigue des choses comprises"... There is a certain sense of clarity to the French spirit that Cioran points to, always going for the ultimate cause of things. The French believe in absolute truths, like most people down south - you might have also noticed it about Italians. The fatigue, as in the feeling one has found all (absolute) truths out there, and there's nothing more to know, just like the greatness is all in the history, and there are no more great things to do. It's the tiredness of Old peoples. And I'm thinking of italians too.
May be it was also the year, 1941, after the defeat.
But the article I quote was published in a recent issue of Le Point, precisely because it seems to fit so well the current moods.
There was talk these last years about the French fundamental values, the future of France, a new direction, a renaissance... There is a feeling like no one actually can put a finger on it. Like the 20th century somehow finished the history. What else is to be done now.
So I guess there's more to this text than just Cioran's pessimism and the dark years of the nazi occupation.
Somehow this reminds me of Japan. Another old people, which don't seem to have a problem reinventing themselves over and over again, every coupl'a'centuries.
I for one have not seen this tendency to introversion, and hairsplitting, to any other country.
Related to that, many warned about a risk of "repli sur soi" these last years, btw.
Humanism and "l'esprit républicain" have definitely replaced the church and the monarchy - that was a long process all through the 18th and 19th c. , now completed.
Of course some of these are terrible generalizations, but also the overall feeling.
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
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