Certainties have no style: a concern for well-chosen words is the attribute of those who cannot rest easy in a faith. Lacking solid support, they cling to words―semblances of reality; while the others, strong in their convictions, despise appearances and wallow in the comfort of improvisation.

All Gall Is Divided by Emile M. Cioran, translated from French by Richard Howard, New York: Arcade Publishing, [1952]1999 p. 3 (Google Books preview)

Here’s the original French version:

Avec des certitudes, point de style: le souci du bien-dire est l’apanage de ceux qui ne peuvent s’endormir avec une foi. À défaut d’un appui solide, ils s’accrochent aux mots, ―semblant de réalité; tandis que les autres, forts de leurs convictions, en méprisent l’apparence et se prélassent dans le confort de l’improvisation. (Syllogismes de l’amertume in Oeuvres, coll. Quarto, éd. Gallimard, Paris, 1995, p. 746)

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Previously: all entries tagged Cioran and faith.


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