July 6, 2006

Schopenhauer and Beckett

Filed under: criticism, literature — ted @ 10:02 am

In an article on Becket from the June 23 edition of The TLS, the author considers the following metaphor from Arthur Schopenhauer’s “On Judgement, Criticism, Approbation and Fame”:

Authors can be divided into meteors, planets, and fixed stars. The meteors produce a loud momentary effect; we look up, shout “see there!” and then they are gone forever. The planets and comets last for a much longer time …. The fixed stars alone are constant and unalterable; their position in the firmament is fixed; they have their own light and at are at all time active, because they do not alter their appearance though a change in our standpoint, for they have no parallax. Unlike the others, they do not belong to one system (nation) alone, but to the world. But just because they are situated so high, their light requires many years before it becomes visible to the inhabitants of earth.

The essay “On Judgement, Criticism, Approbation and Fame” was published in Schopenhauer’s Pararga and Paralipomea (1851).


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