Arthur Schopenhauer

The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Studies in Pessimism by Arthur Schopenhauer is free in various forms of electronic media. Project Gutenberg and Librivox are brother and sister sites. Gutenberg are the eBook versions, and Librivox are the audio-book versions. They are literary works that are out of copyright, therefore free public domain.

I actually gave my Ole former art Teacher a phone call over the weekend (it’s January 2019 as I write this) and he remembered my name! And might just stop by to browse around my Blog site here. So for now he is my Writer’s Muse...

I did an essay for him on Picasso as one of the assignments for his class. Picasso wasn’t merely an artist doing work, he invented a whole new genre of Art. Cubism, expressionism, and many other ism’s (I gotta learn how to put emoji’s in here)

A quote from Schopenhaurer that wholly applies to Picasso is the following one. I also identify with it in my personal experience.

“Everything that is really fundamental in a man, and therefore genuine works, as such, unconsciously; in this respect like the power of nature. That which has passed through the domain of consciousness is thereby transformed into an idea or picture; and so if it comes to be uttered, it is only an idea or picture which passes from one person to another.

“Accordingly, any quality of mind or character that is genuine and lasting is originally unconscious; and it is only when it is unconsciously brought into play that it creates a profound impression. If any like quality is consciously exercised, it means that it had been worked up; it becomes intentional, and therefore matter of affectation, in other words, of deception.

“If a man does a thing unconsciously, it costs him no trouble; but if he tries to do it by taking trouble, he fails. This applies to the origin of those fundamental ideas which form the pith and marrow of all genuine work. Only that which is innate is genuine and will hold water; and every man who wants to achieve something whether practical life, in literature, or in art, must follow the rules without knowing them.”

<<“The chief source of all this passion is that thought for what is absent and future, which, with man, exercises such a powerful influence upon all he does. It is this that is the real origin of his cares, his hopes, his fears—emotions which affect him much more deeply than could ever be the case with those present joys and sufferings to which the brute is confined. In his powers that of reflection, memory and foresight, man possesses, as it were, a machine for condensing and storing up his pleasures and his sorrows. But the brute has nothing of the kind; whenever it is in pain, it is as though it were suffering for the first time, even though the same thing should have previously happened to it times out of number. It has no power of summing up its feelings. Hence its careless and placid temper: how much it is to be envied! But in man reflection comes in, with all the emotions to which it gives rise; and taking up the same elements of pleasure and pain which are common to him and the brute, it develops his susceptibility to happiness and misery to such a degree that, at one moment the man is brought in an instant to a state of delight that may even prove fatal, at another to the depths of despair and suicide”

<<<<“In a field of ripening corn I came to a place which had been trampled down by some ruthless foot; and as I glanced amongst the countless stalks, every one of them alike, standing there so erect and bearing the full weight of the ear, I saw a multitude of different flowers, red and blue and violet. How pretty they looked as they grew there so naturally with their little foliage! But, thought I, they are quite useless; they bear no fruit; they are mere weeds, suffered to remain only because there is no getting rid of them. And yet, but for these flowers, there would be nothing to charm the eye in that wilderness of stalks. They are emblematic of poetry and art, which, in civic life—so severe, but still useful and not without its fruit—play the same part as flowers in the corn”