Businessman George Brailoiu, owner of local energy consulting company KDF Energy, bought, through his company, the entire lot of manuscripts belonging to Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran, auctioned in Paris, for the price of EUR 405,000, according to Mediafax newswire. The initial estimation for the value of the manuscripts was of EUR 100,000. Brailoiu has announced that he will donate the manuscripts to the Romanian state, continues the newswire.
Some of the documents sold at the auction were: Cioran’s BA diploma (EUR 17,000, his bachelor degree thesis (EUR 8,500), the manuscript of Cioran’s famous work The Transfiguration of Romania sold EUR 20,000, The Book of Delusions for EUR 13,000 and Tears and Saints for EUR 8,000.
The Court of Appeal of Paris had recently ruled that Simone Baulez, an antique trader, is the rightful owner of 37 Cioran’s manuscripts, discovered by her in 1998 in the basement of the philosopher’s house, three years after his death. The total value of the manuscripts surpasses EUR 1 million, experts say. However, the manuscripts auctioned on Thursday belonged to a friend of Cioran, the newswire continues and are completely different of the 37 owned by Baulez.
At the auction, the Romanian national television channel, TVR, also participated, as well as the Central University Library “Carol I” of Bucharest (BCU) and they each had managed to purchase some of the auctioned manuscripts, until they were announced that a Romanian bought the whole lot. The event was organized by auction houses Binoche and Giquello.
Emil Cioran would have turned 100 on April 8. The French Institute in Bucharest celebrates the philosopher through the works of Dan Perjovschi, consisting in the graphic representations of 20 aphorisms by Cioran. Perjovschi’s creations were first shown in the Elvira Popescu hall of the French Institute on April 7 and will be visible all throughout Bucharest, in key locations, as well as in subway and bus stations. The Cioran on the Streets (Cioran in strada) event will last through May 6.
Cioran was a Romanian philosopher and essayist, born in Rasinari, part of Sibiu County. In 1937, he left to Paris and never came back to his home country. Skepticism and negativism characterize Cioran’s works, which mostly focus on an atmosphere of torment and torture. He is also a well-known critic of his home country, whose hesitation and shyness towards life he often showed dismay against. He published both in Romanian and French and some of his works are: On the Heights of Despair (Pe culmile disperarii), The Transfiguration of Romania (Schimbarea la fat a României), My country (Mon pays/Tara mea), Tears and Saints (Lacrimi si sfinti).
UPDATE: Brailoiu has announced that he is donating the auctioned documents to the library of the Romanian Academy. “I’ve considered that the Romanian Academy, which is meant to keep and cultivate the Romanian language and literature, is the institution that is meant to look after the Cioran manuscripts that I bought,” stated Brailoiu through a press conference held on April 12 at Clubul Academicienilor, and quoted by Mediafax news wire. As a reward for his donation, Brailoiu has received the highest distinction of the Romanian Academy – The Academic Merit, usually offered to heads of state.