29 December 2011

Best Observed in the Nude

David Cartwright, Schopenhauer: A Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 373-4:
To succeed in life, Schopenhauer held, Hegel had made himself a lackey for the church and state, and because he had nothing to say, he had to hide the paucity of his thought within convoluted sentence structures, thick with obscure jargon, and moved by wild, at times absurd dialectical word play. Hegel’s style mystified and misled the learned world, and Schopenhauer saw that the obscure became identified with the profound. Worse, from his point of view just as Hegel’s stumbling, coughing, and disjointed lecture style was imitated by others, the same was true of his horrid writing style. To write badly was now to write well. Truth, Schopenhauer affirmed, was best observed in the nude, and Hegel’s writing had more than seven veils, and the veils covered nothing.