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On the Suffering of the World (Penguin Great Ideas) Paperback – November 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Great Ideas
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK); Rev Ed edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141018941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141018942
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.3 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Danzig in 1788. He went on to study medicine and science at Gottingen University and in 1810 began to study philosophy. In 1811 he transferred to Berlin to write his doctoral thesis, and began to write The World as Will and Idea, a complete exploration of his philosophy, which was finished in 1818. Although the book failed to sell, his belief in his own views sustained him through twenty-five years of frustrated desire for fame. In 1844 brought a much expanded edition of his book, which after his death became one of the most widely read of all philosophical works. His fame was established in 1851 with the publication of Parerga and Paralipomena. He died in 1860.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on November 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This small book is a good introduction to Schopenhauer's work. Besides his (pessimistic) view on life, death, religion and women, it contains his very influential view on art and writing.

Art
True art reveals out of the endless confusion with a single scene, mood or sensation an essential aspect of life or the nature of man. True art leads one from that which exists only once and never again (the phenomena, the individual, the actuality) to the enduring element in all change. Works of genius contain an unpremeditated, unintentional, unconscious and instinctive element.
For Schopenhauer, music (not opera) is the true universal language (pure weal and woe). Poetry is the art of setting the imagination in action by means of words, while the novel will be higher and nobler the more inner and the less outer life it depicts.

Writers and writing
For Schopenhauer, there are two kinds of writers: those who write for the sake of what they have to say and those who write for the sake of writing (for money).
A multitude of bad writers lives exclusively on the stupid desire of the public: the journalists (in English: day-labourers).
Obscurity and vagueness of expression are always a bad sign: what is clearly thought easily finds it appropriate expression. Those who put together difficult, obscure, ambiguous discourses want to conceal that they have nothing to say.

World, life, death, suicide
For Schopenhauer, `the world is Hell. Life is the expiation for the crime of being born. It is a process of disillusionment. One begins in madness of carnal desire and end in the dissolution of all our parts.'
`Nothing in the world a man has a more incontestable right to than his own life and person.
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