On the Heights of Despair is a daringly provocative and disquieting book written by a Romanian poet-philosopher and essayist Emile M. Cioran. Published when the author was only 23, the book is pervaded with young Cioran's existential despair and poignant honesty expressed in an immensely moving lyrical language. Such themes as melancholy, death, meaninglessness and suicide are intertwined with those of irony, ecstasy, enthusiasm and love. The style of Cioran's prose is extremely personal and immediately engaging in the suffering and alienation of the author. The book reads as if it was a long letter from a close friend who confides inthe readerwith utmost honesty and desperate straightforwardness. The separate passages, some of them a few pages and some just few sentences, seem to be violent outbursts ofemotions long hidden inside and finally finding their way into words. The book is informed with a revolt against philosophy (which Cioran studied in his youth) andan act of affirmation, alost Satanic in its intensity, of subjectivity against all objectivity and insipid generality. ForCioran, a real thinker is the one whose thoughts and ideas are lived through with the body's anguish and trembling as only in this way they become authentic and real. Absurdity of life along with eternal paradoxes of human existence find a beautifully dark and fascinating expression in Cioran's meditations which are never simply exercises in self-pity being always corrected by self-irony and bitterness. Descendant of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Cioran discovers a new language in which thetragicomic and paradoxical condition of the postmodern man becomes compellingly expressed. On the Heights of Despair is a book for all those who arenot afraid to face this condition inits most uncompromising and least euphemistic rendering.