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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Second Season

Or the first, third, or fourth, depending on when one starts counting...

I am not an advocate for the season of summer, which is threaded with adumbrations of fall in the mornings at this time.  I know of two great grumpy essays:  Anton Szandor Lavey's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Lavey) Summertime, from The Devil's Notebook (1992) and Arthur Schopenhauer's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schopenhauer) On Noise, from the selection of the philosopher's work titled Studies in Pessimism.   On Noise is contained in this link:  http://books.google.com/books?id=zJhJAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=schopenhauer+on+noise&source=bl&ots=4ScVIWlLgK&sig=UevbHzbfd64l-Mqsz43LRzVjRF4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4vMDUuCPHrH2igLFtY.

It took me a certain amount of time to realize that summer is unpleasant not so much because of the weather, but because of the way humans can act during the hot days. Noise irritates. Schopenhauer complained about the abusive overapplication of whip cracking in his day, as destructive to thinking.  In our times, noise levels expand greatly from June 21 to September 21, give or take, with windows open, boom cars and outdoor activities. Schopenhauer's ears would not have been able to process the ambience.  And LaVey has some piercing remarks on summer in his essay.  Take such jewels as: "Taking the warmth nature has provided, he (man) has fashioned for himself an environment where his mindlessness flourishes most.  It is the only season which validates slobs."  Or:   "I would enjoy spring more were it not for the impending plague of summer with its human locusts thriving in an atmosphere far deadlier (if radiation levels are considered) than the worst blizzards." 

The New Zealanders and Argentineans have their own context for this.

Arthur Schopenhauer 1788-1860


  1. The LaVey quotes are wonderful, I haven't heard of him before. I read one of Schopenhauer's books in the late 70s while reading Nietzsche, can't remember the title but it was great reading, a bit dourer for me then but just right for me now!

  2. Ray, LaVey was controversial for obvious reasons but his essays were well written. The only thing by Schopenhauer I have read, I think, was the Studies in Pessimism collection. The piece about noise is quite amusing.

  3. I agree. All these annoying neighbours making all kind of noises while I just wanna sit in my garden reading a book. Slow driving caravans blocking the roads. Large sized people with small sized clothes. Aaaah.

  4. Rob, the solution might be, as someone I know once said, to live in a home with "50 acres and no neighbors."