Emil Cioran and Samuel Beckett: Stylistic Proximities

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Arleen Ionescu


My paper compares two exiles: the Romanian-born philosopher and essayist Emil Cioran and the Irish playwright and prose writer Samuel Beckett, born in a language (Romanian and English, respectively), but switching to another (French), after their arrival in Paris in 1937, thus, producing what Rebecca L. Walkowitz called in her book Born Translated “self-translated” works.

The first section establishes a series of affinities between the two, as revealed by their encounters, correspondence and Cioran’s Cahiers (1957‑1972). The second and third sections look into their contemplation of death and of the suicidal act, establishing what Peter Fifield called “stylistic proximities” between their works.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Minor Literature, Small Literatures, Literature in Small Nations