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March 15 – April 27, 2024
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Offspring of some wretched tribe, he prowls the boulevards of the West. Cherishing one country after the next, he no longer hopes for any; stuck in a timeless twilight citizen of the world—and of no world—he is ineffectual, nameless, powerless. . . . Peoples without a destiny cannot give one to their sons who, thirsting for other horizons, attach themselves to a fate and ultimately exhaust it to finish their days as ghosts of their admirations and their exhaustions. Having nothing to love at home, they locate their love elsewhere, in other lands, where their fervor astonishes the natives. Overworked, the feelings erode and disintegrate, admiration first of all. . . . And the Alien who dispersed himself on so many highways of the world, exclaims: “I have set up countless idols for myself, have raised too many altars everywhere, and I have knelt before a host of gods. Now, weary of worship, I have squandered my share of delirium. One has resources only for the absolutes of one’s breed; a soul—like a country—flourishes only within its frontiers. I am paying for having crossed them, for having made the Indefinite into a fatherland, and foreign divinities into a cult, for having prostrated myself before ages which excluded my ancestors. Where I come from I can no longer say: in the temples I am without belief; in the cities, without ardor; among my kind, without curiosity; on the earth, without certitudes. Give me a specific desire and I could shake the world to its foundations. Release me from this shame of actions which makes me perform, every morning, the farce of resurrection and, every night, that of entombment; in the interval, nothing but this torment in the shroud of ennui. . . . I dream of wanting—and all I want seems to me worthless. Like a vandal corroded by melancholy, I proceed without a goal, self without a self, toward some unknown corner. . . in order to discover an abandoned god, a god who is his own atheist, and to fall asleep in the shadow of his last doubts and his last miracles.” 

Tribulations of an Alien

Cioran, E. M. "The Second-Hand Thinker: Tribulations of an Alien." A Short History of Decay, translated by Richard Howard, Arcade Publishing, New York, NY, 1949, pp. 88–89.