Tag Archives: Schopenhauer

Marginalia, no.348

That human life must be some kind of mistake is sufficiently proved by the simple observation that man is a compound of needs which are hard to satisfy; that their satisfaction achieves nothing but a painless condition in which he is only given over to boredom; and that boredom is a direct proof that existence is in itself valueless.

~ Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

I’m convinced that we have Schopenhauer to thank for all those over-serious European films where people mope around wintry granite cities and have loveless relationships and opine about how suicide is the only really logical option. I don’t appreciate his general philosophy but there are some colorful vistas on the way to hell, and reading Schopenhauer is (like watching those awful movies) a sick kind of fun.

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Marginalia, no.88

Imagine…a Utopia in which everything grows of its own accord and turkeys fly around ready-roasted.

~ Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena

‘In such a place,’ says Art, ‘men would die of boredom or hang themselves.’  But he’s wrong about that, because this heaven really exists and I, for one, will be glad to find myself there come Thursday.  I refer, of course, to Mom’s kitchen on Thanksgiving Day.  The great American secular feast approaches like an annual Brigadoon through the November mist.  The whole splendid chorus of fowl and stuffing, potato and gravy, casserole and cranberry sauce implores us to eat, drink and be merry: Utopia lives for only a day.

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