Books: The King of Pessimists

THE FALL INTO TIME by E.M. Cioran. Translated from the French by Richard Howard. 183 pages. Quadrangle Books. $5.95.

Is it better to be a savage than an intellectual? Is it better to be an animal than a savage? Is it better to be a vegetable than an animal? Yes. Yes. And one more despairing yes.

By such determined scramblings down the tree of life, E.M. Cioran, 59, has made himself into a kind of one-man cult of the culdesac: the king of the pessimists in a bumper year for pessimists. Cioran's recent book of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!