What happens when a romance writer encounters Emil Cioran

emil cioran.jpg

It’s not hard to guess where I got the above quote. Pinterest, a gold mine of images that are often hard to trace back to their original artists and never mind copyright issues because we’re all having too much fun gobbling up this mind-grabbing collection of visual candy. Myself included. (I had to get that off my chest.  It’s been sitting there for a long time. Now back to the show. And afterwards, back to pinning. Feel free to come with me. I’m here, by the way.)

This is what I take from the above quote: 

Write what you’re afraid to say. Write the dark truths that linger in the deep crevasses of your mind. Since I write fiction, I’ll let my characters say or think the confidences I would never share. Doing so will make for a memorable book that smart publishers will snap up.

When I pinned that quote, I didn't know that Emil Cioran, if he were still alive, would likely scoff at this. He might roll his eyes. He might turn and stomp away. 

Cioran was an Romanian essayist born in 1911. His first book was the prize-winning On the Heights of Despair. His other works include The Trouble with Being Born and A Short History of Decay.  

Do you know of him? 

I did not. And after Googling him, I now know he’s not the writer I want to emulate, despite the fact that he has 700 quotes on Goodreads and a bunch of fans for his 78 nicely starred works. (By the way, none of my Facebook friends like him, but I could be the first.)  

In the case of the above quote, Pinterest’s visual candy is a snapshot taken through a sugared lens, sweetening a pessimist who explored death and suicide in much of his writing.

Emil Cioran

Emil Cioran

“No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one.”


“A book is a suicide postponed.”


“If we could truly see ourselves the way others see us we’d disappear on the spot.”




I had no idea. 

For Pete’s sake, I write romance.

I write:

“They lived happily ever after.” 

My characters quite possibly live in the old castle pictured high above and are HAPPY because despite the photo’s gray sky, love shines a ray of light everywhere it dwells. Especially in a castle. With a handsome, kind prince.

My lesson from this morning’s session of Googling Emil Cioran is this:

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  Anais Nin

And that’s okay. So long as we go through life understanding that we don’t know the whole story of anything except ourselves. And we only know ourselves after a great deal of thinking and pondering and pinning quotes that resonate with us even when the speaker would never EVER have considered reading a romance novel.  

But he probably should have.