By The Mid S, Emil Cioran Was Already Known As A Leader Of A New Generation Of Politically Committed Romanian Intellectuals Researching Another, Radical Book, Cioran Was Spending Hours In A Library Poring Over The Lives Of Saints As A Modern Hagiographer, Cioran Dreamt Himself The Chronicler Of These Saints Falls Between Heaven And Earth, The Intimate Knower Of The Ardors In Their Hearts, The Historian Of God S Insomniacs Inspired By Nietzsche S Beyond Good And Evil , Cioran Searched For The Origin Of Tears He Asked Himself If Saints Could Be The Sources Of Tears Better Light Who Can Tell He Wrote In The First Paragraph Of This Book, First Published In Romania In To Be Sure, Tears Are Their Trace Tears Did Not Enter The World Through The Saints But Without Them We Would Never Have Known That We Cry Because We Long For A Lost Paradise By Following In Their Traces, Wetting The Soles Of One S Feet In Their Tears , Cioran Hoped To Understand How A Human Being Can Renounce Being Human Cioran Focuses Not On Martyrs Or Heroes But On The Mystics Primarily Female Famous For Their Spirituality And Intimate Knowledge Of God Their Christianity Was Anti Theological, Anti Institutional And Based Solely On Intuition And Sentiment Many, Such As Catherine Of Siena, Teresa Of Avila And Saint John Of The Cross, Have Produced Classic Works Of Mystical Literature But Cioran Celebrates Many Minor And Unusual Figures As Well Following Nietzsche, He Focuses Explicitly On The Political Element Hidden In Saints Lives In His Hands, However, Their Charitable Deeds Are Much Less Interesting Than Their Thirst For Pain And Their Equally Powerful Capacity To Endure It Behind Their Suffering And Their Uncanny Ability To Renounce Everything Through Ascetic Practices, Cioran Detects A Fanatical Will To Power Seriously, three things made me pick up this book when I had no notion of who E.M Cioran was First, the beautiful cover with a detail from The Descent from the Cross second, the intriguing title and third the quote from the Chicago Tribune printed on the back makes the postwar French Existentialists look like a 6th grade meeting of the Future Bores of America I enjoy the French Existentialists I had to see what was up with Cioran.What is up with Cioran He is absolutely top notch searching for the origin of tears in the lives of female saints known for copious tears from them he build a case against theology and institution and for intuition and sentiment all the while being highly political Romanian politics.The book pieces itself together in a series of small clips An example Schopenhaurer maintains that, if we were to invite the dead back to life, they would refuse I believe, on the contrary, that they would die a second time from too much joy.An enthralling, thought provoking book to be savored And you can still enjoy the French existentialists. I gave this to my friend who likes to pretend he isn t a Catholic but I know he totally is, and he loves this book If you know a crypto Catholic, too, and want them to know you see what they re up to, give them a copy of Tears and Saints. Anyone who is interested in sober and sincere philosophy is a must to read If you did enjoy Wittgenstein, Russell you will like Cioran. In 1937, Emil Cioran returned the saints to cynics, depressives, and blasphemers With Tears and Saints Cioran reminds us why people have always believed in these holy Others Not simply because they re meek, prayerful, and simple rather, because hearing how Rose of Lima h u ng herself on a cross in her room, or listening to Rumi conflate God with his lover Shams, we recall the madness of these people Salves and charity mean little without that terrific madness a love spiked, lucid madness, which separated the saints from ordinary mystics.If, as Henri de Lubac suggested in The Drama of Atheist Humanism, Nietzsche was Christ haunted, then I would suggest that Cioran, here, suffers from the haunting of the saints and the Apostles Thomas and Judas alike And much like Nietzsche, Cioran the son of an Orthodox priest would spend his entire life with the Gospels and the Hebrew Prophets rattling in his head But this is perhaps the rawest and most troubled meditation on that legacy he ever produced.In a sense, I d say Cioran has given us a depiction of saints that would have pleased Thomas Bernhard This is the book that introduced me to Cioran, and I ve been reading him through its lens ever since.Acknowledgement of the superb work Ilinca Zarifopol Johnston did in her translation is a necessity for any review of this book she was an adept interpreter of Cioran s bitter prose. It is a little over the average in price but well worth the quality The paper is off white, making it easier on the eyes The ink is not glossy The cover and the material used for it makes it durable The translator did a great job in keeping the original lyricism, it is not a word by word translation The content of the book is up to you to judge.