Fall into Occidentalism: Cioran against the Maoïstes and the Alt-Right [chapter]

2020 Literary Translation, Reception, and Transfer  
The pessimist Schopenhauer is well known as an Indophile; his own philosophy combines Plato, Kant, and the Upanishads. But later pessimists, such as E. M. Cioran in works such as La Chute dans le temps [Fall into Time] (1964), are profoundly critical of the European fascination with Asian philosophy and its influence on the lineage of European ontological and ethical thought. The Maoïstes of the 1960s held that European Orientalism had only served to reinforce the worst aspects of the
more » ... ts of the materialist secularism of the legacy of the Enlightenment. Cioran felt the same, and yet he advocates ideas that fall in line with basic tenets of Asian religions, and saw the youthful passion of 1960s Paris negatively. But in the twenty-first century, as increasing numbers of Western youths are joining groups that wish to do harm to the US and Europe in opposition to their ideologies, one wonders what lessons we might glean from the Occidentalism of Cioran as we attempt to combat the perpetuation of such reified binaries ourselves.
doi:10.1515/9783110641998-020 fatcat:sldmwkwvazhelbtcp5jq7sjvhe