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On the Suffering of the World

These texts, produced during the last decades of Schopenhauer's long life, reveal a unique kind of philosophy, expressed in a singular style. Eschewing the tradition of dry, totalizing, academic philosophy prevalent during the time, Schopenhauer's later writings mark a shift towards a philosophy of aphorisms, fragments, anecdotes and observations, written in a literary style that is by turns antagonistic, resigned, confessional, and filled with all the fragile contours of an intellectual memoir. Here Schopenhauer allows himself to pose challenging questions regarding the fate of the human species, the role of suffering in the world, and the rift between self and world that increasingly has come to define human existence, to this day. It is these writings of Schopenhauer that later generations of artists, poets, musicians, and philosophers would identify as exemplifying the pessimism of their era, and perhaps of our own as well.

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