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The Art of Literature

The Art of Literature

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Published by Bruno Anselmo
A great book by the german philosopher Schopenhauer. Enjoy!
A great book by the german philosopher Schopenhauer. Enjoy!

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Published by: Bruno Anselmo on Feb 15, 2008
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09/27/2012

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THE ESSAYSOFARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER TRANSLATED BYT. BAILEY SAUNDERS, M.A.THE ART OF LITERATURE.1
 
CONTENTS.PREFACEON AUTHORSHIPON STYLEON THE STUDY OF LATINON MEN OF LEARNINGON THINKING FOR ONESELFON SOME FORMS OF LITERATUREON CRITICISMON REPUTATIONON GENIUS2
 
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.The contents of this, as of the other volumes in the series, have beendrawn from Schopenhauer's _Parerga_, and amongst the various subjectsdealt with in that famous collection of essays, Literature holds animportant place. Nor can Schopenhauer's opinions fail to be of specialvalue when he treats of literary form and method. For, quite apartfrom his philosophical pretensions, he claims recognition as a greatwriter; he is, indeed, one of the best of the few really excellent prose-writers of whom Germany can boast. While he is thus particularlyqualified to speak of Literature as an Art, he has also something tosay upon those influences which, outside of his own merits, contributeso much to an author's success, and are so often undervalued when heobtains immediate popularity. Schopenhauer's own sore experiences inthe matter of reputation lend an interest to his remarks upon thatsubject, although it is too much to ask of human nature that he shouldapproach it in any dispassionate spirit.In the following pages we have observations upon style by one whowas a stylist in the best sense of the word, not affected, nor yet a phrasemonger; on thinking for oneself by a philosopher who never didanything else; on criticism by a writer who suffered much from theinability of others to understand him; on reputation by a candidatewho, during the greater part of his life, deserved without obtainingit; and on genius by one who was incontestably of the privilegedorder himself. And whatever may be thought of some of his opinionson matters of detail--on anonymity, for instance, or on the questionwhether good work is never done for money--there can be no doubt thathis general view of literature, and the conditions under which itflourishes, is perfectly sound.It might be thought, perhaps, that remarks which were meant to applyto the German language would have but little bearing upon one sodifferent from it as English. This would be a just objection if Schopenhauer treated literature in a petty spirit, and confinedhimself to pedantic inquiries into matters of grammar and etymology,or mere niceties of phrase. But this is not so. He deals with hissubject broadly, and takes large and general views; nor can anyonewho knows anything of the philosopher suppose this to mean that he isvague and feeble. It is true that now and again in the course of theseessays he makes remarks which are obviously meant to apply to thefailings of certain writers of his own age and country; but in such acase I have generally given his sentences a turn, which, while keepingthem faithful to the spirit of the original, secures for them a lessrestricted range, and makes Schopenhauer a critic of similar faults inwhatever age or country they may appear. This has been done in spiteof a sharp word on page seventeen of this volume, addressed totranslators who dare to revise their author; but the change is onewith which not even Schopenhauer could quarrel.It is thus a significant fact--a testimony to the depth of hisinsight and, in the main, the justice of his opinions--that views of literature which appealed to his own immediate contemporaries, should3

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