“I would not end here without once again warning you against the enthusiasm or the jealousy my “luck” inspires in you, specifically the opportunity to loll in a city whose memory doubtless haunts you, despite your roots in our evaporated country. This city, which I would exchange for no other in the world, is for that very reason the source of my misfortunes. All that is not Paris being equal in my eyes, I often regret that wars have spared it, that it has not perished like so many others. Destroyed, it would have rid me of the happiness of living here, I could have spent my days elsewhere, at the ends of the earth. I shall never forgive Paris for having bound me to space, for making me from somewhere. Mind you, I am not forgetting for a moment that four-fifths of its inhabitants, as Chamfort has already noted, “die of grief.” I should add further, for your edification, that the remaining fifth, the privileged few of whom I am one, are no different in their feelings, and that they even envy that majority its advantage of knowing of what to die.”

Excerpt from "Letter to a Faraway Friend", in History and Utopia, E.M. Cioran.

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