334 Fragmentary Thoughts


Nietzsche liked to write in fragments, Cioran followed suit. Some people like the style, but others hate it because fragmentary thoughts resist systematic understanding. Examples:

“What do you do from morning to night?”
“I endure myself.”

Having always lived in fear of being surprised by the worst, I have tried in every circumstance to get a head start, flinging myself into misfortune long before it occurs.

— “The Trouble with Being Born”, E.M.Cioran

The following paragraph is a rather self-explanatory account for the merit of fragmentary writing:

In any book governed by the Fragment, truths and whims keep company throughout. How to sift them, to decide which is conviction, which caprice? One proposition, a momentary impulse, precedes or follows another, a life’s companion raised to the dignity of obsession …. It is the reader who must assign the roles, since in more than one instance, the author himself hesitates to take sides. The epigrams constitute a sequence of perplexities — in them we shall find interrogations but no answers. Moreover, what answer could there be? Had there been one, we should know it, to the great detriment of the enthusiast of stupor.

— “Anathema and Admiration”, E.M.Cioran

The purpose of fragmentary writing is interrogating without providing an answer. Among questions that have no answer, the meaning of life is king. I don’t trust any answer to the meaning of life, neither do I accept the notion that this question has even an answer. Can you find any religion which acknowledges that life is pointless, and that suffering is meaningless? That’s why I am not committed to any religion.

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