Tuesday, February 23, 2010


In Eckermann's Gespräche mit Goethe (second edition, Vol. I, p. 154), Goethe says: "Our spirit is a being of a quite indestructible nature; it acts continuously from eternity to eternity. It is similar to the sun which seems to set only to our earthly eyes, but which really never sets; it shines on incessantly." Goethe took the simile from me, not I from him. He undoubtedly uses in this conversation of 1824 in consequence of a (possibly unconscious) reminiscence of the above passage, for it appears in the first edition, p. 401, in the same words as here, and also occurs there again on p. 528, and here at the end of § 65. The first edition was sent to him in December 1818, and in March 1819 he sent me in Naples, where I then was, a letter of congratulation through my sister. He had enclosed a piece of paper on which he had noted the numbers of some pages that had specially pleased him. So he had read my book.

(p. 280; footnote 8)

Arthur Schopenhauer

The World as Will and Representation / Translated from the German by E. F. Y. Payne / In Two Volumes / Volume II

Fourth Book / The World as Will / Second Aspect

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