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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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