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Eva Schweitzer <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 16:37:53 +0000
text/plain (1 lines)

This is what Twain wrote about Schopenhauer:

"About Germans, Schopenhauer wrote, “For a German it is even good to have somewhat lengthy words in his mouth, for he thinks slowly, and they give him time to reflect.” Maybe those sentences helped Twain relate to Schopenhauer; in any case, he picked up the pages, turned around, and asked Fisher what “tetragamy” meant. When the fellow correspondent explained that the term stood for having four wives, Twain joked, “Good! I have always wanted to reform monogamy, when my wife isn’t looking.” Then he asked Fisher to copy the pages (by hand), and translate them from their original German into English.
Twain was not especially fond of Schopenhauer, though. He compared him to, as he called him, “queer Strindberg,” who had only created female characters that were “hard-faced, sullen, cold-blooded, cheeky, grasping, vindictive, hell-raising, unvirtuous, unkind vixens.” Anyone as misogynistic as those two, the author assumed, must be gay. In the end, he did not write about Schopenhauer. He did finish, however, his piece about the postal service, evidently drawing from his recent experiences on Körnerstrasse. He compared the postal service in Berlin to the post office in New York—not very flattering for the latter, but very much so for the former."

From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of George Hunka <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2020 6:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Twain and ... Schopenhauer?

The Twain House in Hartford is in possession of the book of Schopenhauer’s essays. I’ve seen it; there’s one line of lightly dismissive marginalia very early in the book, which leads me to conclude that Twain may not have read much further in it.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 18, 2020, at 12:22 PM, Eva Schweitzer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Twain spoke about Schopenhauser, as documented in our books "Mark Twain in Berlin." He did not like him. He did not mention Nietzsche, though (as far as I remember)
> ________________________________
> From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Mac Donnell Rare Books <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2020 6:06 PM
> To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Twain and ... Schopenhauer?
> Twain also owned a copy of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in the 1880s,
> so some of Kant's influence on Schopenhauer may have been direct on
> Twain.  As for Neitzsche, Twain may have said he didn't read Neitzsche
> himself, but he certainly knew his philosophy if his comments to Lyon
> are any indication-- when she was reading Neitzsche in 1906 and quoting
> Neitzsche to Twain because she thought they were similar in their
> outlooks (cf Gribben). Another approach could be through the authors
> heavily influenced by the Kant-Schopenhauer-Neitzsche school of thought,
> like Tolstoy, whose works were read by Twain the 1880s and 1890s.
> I don't have any works by Kant, Schopenhauer, or Neitzsche from Twain's
> library, although I may have some works that quote from them that Twain
> owned. That would take some poking around. But the Tolstoy connection
> involved just two degrees of separation: Among Clara's signed cabinet
> photos of musicians in her social circle in the 1890s, is a photo of
> Tolstoy inscribed to Ossip. Twain and Ossip spent time together in 1898
> and again when Ossip showed up at Stormfield to recover from surgery.
> I've seen no evidence they ever spoke of Tolstoy, and I don't know under
> what circumstances Ossip met or knew Tolstoy, but the subject could have
> come up.
> Kevin
> @
> Mac Donnell Rare Books
> 9307 Glenlake Drive
> Austin TX 78730
> 512-345-4139
> Member: ABAA, ILAB, BSA
> You can browse our books at:
> ------ Original Message ------
> From: "Barbara Schmidt" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: 10/18/2020 10:34:50 AM
> Subject: Re: Twain and ... Schopenhauer?
>> Alan Gribben in MARK TWAIN'S LIBRARY: A RECONSTRUCTION records a volume by
>> Schopenhauer ESSAYS OF ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER -- a translation published in
>> 1892 that was sold in the 1951 sale of Clemens's library. It is listed as
>> belonging to Jean and Clara. In addition, Gribben also records that
>> journalist Henry Fisher  also commented on Twain's interest in
>> Schopenhauer's writings. Whether the volume from the Clemens library has
>> ever been recovered or examined for marginalia is not documented.
>> Barb
>>> On Sun, Oct 18, 2020 at 10:08 AM Dave Davis <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>> This one sentence from Arthur Schopenhauer intrigues me:
>>> *Our hesitation before such a colossal thought will perhaps be diminished
>>> by the recollection... that the ultimate dreamer of the vast life-dream is
>>> finally, in a certain sense, but one, namely the Will to Live, and that the
>>> multiplicity of appearances follows from the conditioning effects of time
>>> and space [the morphogenetic field whereby the Will to Live assumes forms].
>>> It is one great dream dreamed by a single Being, but in such a way that all
>>> the dream characters dream too.  *
>>> --Arthur Schopenhauer, "Transcendental Speculation on Apparent Design in
>>> the Fate of the Individual,” "  (1851)
>>> (More about that:
>>> )
>>>  It reminds me of the great conclusion of #44, The Mysterious Stranger
>>> which we all know:
>>> "... "It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no
>>> universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a
>>> dream--a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are
>>> but a thought--a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought,
>>> wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!"
>>> (Actually, the whole of that last, concluding Chapter)
>>> I recall that SLC told a correspondent he had never read Nietzsche; but we
>>> also know that he could get by, reading German, and was in Germany quite a
>>> bit in the 1890's, when such ideas were in the air there.
>>> Any thoughts? Maybe they both got it from Shakespeare. Ideas float around,
>>> expression is everything.
>>> DDD