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Tears and Saints


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About the Author

E. M. Cioran (1911-1995) was born and educated in Romania and lived in Paris from 1937 until his death. He is the author of numerous works, including On the Heights of Despair, also available from the University of Chicago Press.


In her lengthy introduction, the translator deems this book a "discourse on spirituality, asceticism and suffering for the love of Christ." More specifically, the author asserts that saints maintain a "will to power which reaps nothing but empty and cruel suffering." Cioran looks for a reason to become a believer by exploring the lives of minor saints but ends up interpreting their tears only as a sign of their penchant for suffering. Ultimately, Cioran comes closest to becoming a believer through experiencing music, especially Bach. First published in Bucharest in 1937, this work caused quite a storm because many readers considered it blasphemous. Perusing the text in 1995, however, a few decades after God was declared dead on the covers of popular news magazines, some readers may find the comments to be more black humor than blasphemy. Recommended for subject collections.‘Olivia Opello, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.

"Like Nietzsche, Cioran is an important religious thinker. His book intertwines God and music with passion and tears. . . . [Tears and Saints] has a chillingly contemporary ring that makes this translation important here and now".

-- Booklist

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