This is a review of On The Heights Of Despair (1934) by emo philosopher, Emil Cioran.

While reading this book I coincidentally learned what the phrase "purple prose" means; this book may be an exemplar. But I guess this material is supposed to be read a bit like poetry. He’s certainly somewhat inspirational in tone. What’s interesting is that he has many very weird viewpoints which can be quite entertaining. He seems to have a profound enthusiasm for not being enthusiastic. A ebullient appreciation of unhappiness. Etc. I got the feeling this guy was pretty intelligent and had a lot of clever observations, but he did seem wracked with something that, today, would earn him a regime of anti-depressants. I can appreciate the emo aesthetic from afar but I’d rather be a happy person. As such, a whole book packed with melancholy laments that passionately repudiate any reason to care, might be a bit much for me. It’s true that I did enjoy some of the paradoxes. You can apparently stand in awe of the insipid. Depending on where you are or would like to be on the happy-depressive spectrum, this book will appeal to you differently.