Friday, September 28, 2012


The Cancer of the Earth

Cioran (1911-1995), De l'inconvénient d'être né (Paris: Gallimard, 1973), p. 199:
Des arbres massacrés. Des maisons surgissent. Des gueules, des gueules partout. L'homme s'étend. L'homme est le cancer de la terre.
Translation by Richard Howard, The Trouble With Being Born (New York: Seaver Books, 1976):
Trees are massacred, houses go up—faces, faces everywhere. Man is spreading. Man is the cancer of the earth.
Cf. a letter from Gerd Heinrich to his son (Easter morning, 1975), quoted in Bernd Heinrich, The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through a Century of Biology (New York: Ecco, 2007), p. 419:
Homo sapiens is certainly the greatest pest the earth has ever borne.


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