Podia ter escolhido outro tema (o Significado de Graça?), mas este vai bem comigo e com a estação, e gosto do modo como o jovem Cioran relaciona a melancolia com os espaços abertos, a tristeza com os espaços fechados. On the Heights of Despair
(Nos píncaros do desespero) foi publicado em 1934 na Roménia, Emil Cioran tinha apenas 23 anos. A versão inglesa está disponível no Scribd
ou em Grey Lodge Occult Review #16
Também é uma forma de festejar a tradução (Manuel de Freitas) e a edição (maravilhosa Letra Livre
) de Silogismos da Amargura
(1952) — um livro substancial num tempo de tão escassos pensamentos, de papel tão mal gasto, de tantas fraudes editoriais.
Quem quiser que aproveite para confrontar as idades e as línguas do senhor Cioran, o que se ganhou e o que se perdeu. É o que tenciono fazer depois de um melancólico passeio ao campo. On sadness
While melancholy is a state of vague dreaminess, never deep or intense, sadness is closed, serious, and painfully interiorized. One can be sad anywhere, but sadness grows in intensity in a closed space while melancholy flourishes in open spaces. Sadness almost always stems from a precise motive and is therefore concentrated, whereas there are no exterior causes for melancholy. I know why I am sad, but I do not know why I am melancholy. Melancholy states last a long time without reaching any great intensity. Or, rather, their long duration erases from consiousness any original motive, whereas in sadness, which is not long lasting, the motive remains present, generating a self-contained inner tension which will never explode but slowly die in itself. Neither melancholy nor sadness explodes; neither shatters lives. One speaks of a sad sigh, never a scream of sadness. Sadness is not an overwhelming state. To understand it's nature, it is important to consider it's frequent occurrence after moments of fulfillment. Why does sadness follow intercourse? Why are we sad after a great drinking bout or moments of dionysiac excess? Great joys, why do they bring us sadness?
Because there remains from these excesses only a feeling of irrevocable loss and desertion which reaches a high degree of negative intensity. At such moments, instead of a gain, one keenly feels loss. Sadness accompanies all those events in which life expends itself. It's intensity is equal to it's loss. Thus death causes the greatest sadness. That one can never speak of a funeral as "melancholy" shows an important difference between sadness and melancholy. Also, the esthetic aspect of melancholy is entirely absent from sadness. It is worthwhile noticing how the domain of esthetics narrows gradually as it approaches serious reality and crucial life events. Death, suffering, and sadness negate esthetics. Death and beauty are totally opposed notions. I know nothing more disgusting than death, nothing more serious and more sinister! How could some poets find beautiful this ultimate negation which cannot even wear the mask of the grotesque? It is ironic that one fears it the more one admires it. I must confess that I admire death's negativity. It is the only thing I can admire and yet not love. Its grandeur and infinity impress me, but my despair is so vast that I don't even harbor the hope of death. How could I love death? One can only write about it in contradictory ways. Whoever says that he knows something definite about death shows that he has not even a premonition, although he bears it within himself. Every man bears with him not only his life but also his death. Life is just a long, drawn-out agony. It seems to me that sadness partakes of this agony. The writhings of sadness, don't they express agony? These contortions, negations of beauty, betray so much solitude that one must ask oneself if the physiognomy of sadness is not a mode of objectifying death in life. Sadness is a way into a mystery, a mystery so rich that sadness never ceases to remain enigmatic. If there were a scale for mysteries, sadness would belong to a group of infinite mysteries, mysteries without limit, inexhaustible, an observation which, to my great regret, is always verifiable: only those are happy who never think or, rather, who only think about life's bare necessities, and to think about such things means not to think at all. True thinking resembles a demon who muddies the spring of life or a sickness which corrupts its roots. To think all the time, to raise questions, to doubt your own destiny, to feel the weariness of living, to be worn out to the point of exhaustion by thoughts and life, to leave behind you, as symbols of your life's drama, a trail of smoke and blood — all this means you are so unhappy that reflection and thinking appear as a curse causing a violent revulsion in you. There are many things on could regret in this world in which one shouldn't regret any thing. But I ask myself; is the world worthy of my regrets?On the heights of despair
E. M. Cioran, translated by Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston, (c) 1992 by the University of Chicago