About Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
This page is for regular readers of 'The MacGuffin' - who will know that not only do I greatly admire Schopenhauer's writings, but that I consider the German philosopher's thought and temperament to offer valuable keys to the films of Hitchcock. A child of the Romantic Age who appreciated the power of the unconscious mind, who for a time had gone to school in London, who was a philosophical pessimist and a lover of the arts (especially of the theatre), and who in later years liked to read 'The Times' each day though he was living abroad - all these facts about Schopenhauer may help to suggest why I see in him a considerable overlap with Hitchcock. (Both men, too, could be very objective about the human condition ...) KM
First, here are three short quotes taken from three excellent books.
Interest in Schopenhauer's
philosophy is now returning after a long period of neglect. He has
always been acknowledged as one of the greatest writers of German prose,
but only recently has he begun to recover recognition as the only major
Western philosopher to build bridges between Western and Eastern
thought; as a philosopher whose impact on creative writers has never
been surpassed; as possibly the greatest individual influence on
Wittgenstein; and above all as a great philosopher in his own right.
Many ideas which are thought of today as characteristically 'modern'
received their first unequivocal expression in his pages. Not
surprisingly, a new generation is feeling a need to study his work.
- - From the dust-jacket of Bryan Magee's 'The Philosophy of Schopenhauer' (Clarendon Press, 1983)
- - Robert C. Solomon, 'Continental Philosophy Since 1750'
(Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 75-76
- - Christopher Janaway, 'Schopenhauer'
(Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 6.