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Okay, there is a felt, spiritual side to Cioran's writings but they were valid in their time. While he describes Frenchness that flatters the French still today, he also holds firm views about how the German character differs from that.

Now, it is no flattery to tell Germans that they have bad taste, even if German taste doesn't compare to how French will define taste. Cioran couldn't possibly have written anything pleasant about German taste in 1941 unless he himself had been a Nazi.

That's the 'tangled' part of the story: the historical context and his timeless, genuine perception of people within that context. This is why I beg to differ from P. Ayme when he says Cioran compares the French with Nazis.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 05:24:06 PM EST
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"pour les Allemands, les banalités sont considérées comme l 'honorable substance de la conversation..."

That is not flattering. Il me plait davantage d'imaginer que Cioran denonce ici plus les Nazis que les Allemands. Pour l'essentiel du reste, comme Valentin remarque, Cioran tourne la force essentielle de la culture francaise en une faiblesse... Parcequ'il regarde la defaite, l'accident....

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 10:44:03 PM EST
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I think his statement about German lack of taste was more in the direction of Germans possessing a "sense of practicality", a spirit turned to functionality, rather than unwielded artsy stuff - someone recently wrote to me about that same thing.
Cioran obviously writes from the French point of view, and I for one see absolutely nothing in his text reminding of the nazi occupation. If I cut out the year, I doubt any one could have recognized it.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 12th, 2009 at 08:44:59 PM EST
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