A Précis on E.M. Cioran’s Supremacy of the Adjective

E.M. Cioran, in his Supremacy of the Adjective suggests that we are forever bound by our language. This observation generally addresses the human condition, more specifically, those who speak history into existence and color the past with their adjectival descriptions of it.

The world changes in accordance with the words that we use to describe it. This shift in language constitutes our existential experience. To speak of God or “progress” is to speak them into existence in how we speak of them. In penetrating words to their core, unclothing them, we find that the meanings we ascribe them, disappear, decompose. Instead of manifesting meaning, they vanish into meaningless vocables. Culture is that which we have created by dint of the words that we use to symbolize it. Our descriptions of the world at once confine us and shift our understanding and experience of Being.

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