Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Schopenhauer’s Daily Routine

Arthur Schopenhauer
R. J. Hollingdale, in his Introduction to Arthur Schopenhauer: Essays and Aphorisms, has a section titled, “An Immovable Mind,” in which, through five pieces of biographical information, each only a paragraph long, he illustrates Schopenhauer’s most pronounced characteristics. Here’s the piece number 5 in which Hollingdale offers an insight Schopenhauer’s daily routine:
From the age of 45 until his death 27 years later Schopenhauer lived in Frankfurt-am-Main. He lived alone, in ‘rooms’, and every day for 27 years he followed an identical routine. He rose every morning a seven and had a bath but no breakfast: he drank a cup of strong coffee before sitting down at his desk and writing until noon. At noon he ceased work for the day and spent half-an-hour practicing the flute, on which he became quite a skilled performer. Then he went out for lunch at the Englischer Hof. After lunch he returned home and read until four, when he left for his daily walk: he walked for two hours no matter what the weather. At six o’clock he visited the reading room of the library and read The Times. In the evening he attended the theatre or a concert, after which he had dinner at a hotel or restaurant. He got back home between nine and ten and went early to bed. He was willing to deviate from this routine in order to receive visitors; but with this exception he carried it through for 27 years. 
Hollingdale notes that such a fixed routine is indicative of inertia or immovability—Schopenhauer was incapable of abandoning or modifying an attitude of mind once adopted. A man of fixed habits, he would obstinately stick to his routine which included going out for a two hour daily walk no matter what the weather.

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