The Trouble with Being Born by E. M. Cioran, translated by Richard Howard / 177-page paperback, Penguin Modern Classics edition / ISBN 9780241467275
“A love of Cioran creates an urge to press his writing into someone’s hand, and is followed by an equal urge to pull it away as poison.”—The New Yorker
'Not to be born is undoubtedly the best plan of all. Unfortunately it is within no one's reach.'
In The Trouble With Being Born, E. M. Cioran grapples with the major questions of human existence: birth, death, God, the passing of time, how to relate to others and how to make ourselves get out of bed in the morning.
In a series of interlinking aphorisms which are at once pessimistic, poetic and extremely funny, Cioran finds a kind of joy in his own despair, revelling in the absurdity and futility of our existence, and our inability to live in the world.
Translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and critic Richard Howard, The Trouble With Being Born is a provocative, illuminating testament to a singular mind.
"No modern writer twists the knife with Cioran's dexterity...His writing...is informed with the bitterness of genuine compassion."—Boston Phoenix