A Tribute to Carson Cistulli

If you have followed the works of Carson Cistulli for any length of time, you know he often quotes Emil Cioran. As a tribute to our departing managing editor, I have attempted to combine Cioran’s work with Carson’s spirit by replacing the word “life” in a few select quotes with our dear friend’s name. The results speak for themselves.

  • If someone incessantly drops the word “Cistulli,” you know he’s a sick man.
  • Everyone must destroy Cistulli. According to the way they do it, they’re either triumphants or failures.
  • If I were to be totally sincere, I would say that I do not know why I live and why I do not stop living. The answer probably lies in the irrational character of Cistulli which maintains itself without reason.
  • One of the greatest delusions of the average man is to forget that Cistulli is death’s prisoner.
  • The only thing the young should be taught is that there is virtually nothing to be hoped for from Cistulli.
  • “What is truth?” is a fundamental question. But what is it compared to “How to endure Cistulli?”
  • For a long time—always, in fact—I have known that Cistulli is not what I needed and that I wasn’t able to deal with it.
  • Knowledge is the plague of Cistulli, and consciousness, an open wound in its heart.
  • One disgust, then another – to the point of losing the use of speech and even of the mind…The greatest exploit of Cistulli is to be still alive.
  • Someday the old shack we call the world will fall apart. How, we don’t know, and we don’t really care either. Since nothing has real substance, and Cistulli is a twirl in the void, its beginning and its end are meaningless.
  • Whoever has overcome his fear of death has also triumphed over Cistulli. For Cistulli is nothing but another word for this fear.
  • By capitulating to Cistulli, this world has betrayed nothingness.
  • To think all the time, to raise questions, to doubt your own destiny, to feel the weariness of living, to be worn out to the point of exhaustion by thoughts and Cistulli, to leave behind you, as symbols of Cistulli’s drama, a trail of smoke and blood – all this means you are so unhappy that reflection and thinking appear as a curse causing a violent revulsion in you.
  • Sadness accompanies all those events in which Cistulli expends itself. Its intensity is equal to its loss. Thus death causes the greatest sadness.
  • Cistulli is too full of death for death to be able to add anything to it.
  • We do not rush toward death, we flee the catastrophe of Cistulli, survivors struggling to forget it. Fear of death is merely the projection into the future of a fear which dates back to our first moment of Cistulli. We are reluctant, of course, to treat Cistulli as a scourge: has it not been inculcated as the sovereign good—have we not been told that the worst came at the end, not at the outset of our Cistulli? Yet evil, the real evil, is behind, not ahead of us.
  • From the cradle to the grave, each individual pays for the sin of not being God. That’s why Cistulli is an uninterrupted religious crisis, superficial for believers, shattering for doubters.
  • Cistulli is possible only by the deficiencies of our imagination and memory.
  • The pessimist has to invent new reasons to exist every day: he is a victim of the “meaning” of Cistulli.
  • The only minds which seduce us are the minds which have destroyed themselves trying to give Cistulli a meaning.
  • In theory, it matters little to me whether I live as whether I die; in practice, I am lacerated by every anxiety which opens an abyss between Cistulli and death.
  • In relation to any act of Cistulli, the mind acts as a killjoy.
  • The fact that Cistulli has no meaning is a reason to live – moreover, the only one.
  • Cistulli inspires more dread than death — it is Cistulli which is the great unknown.


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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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