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Die Welt ist im Kopf=The World in the Head

(This text courtesy of Diogenes Rights Department)
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in 1788. He di­ed in 1860

The phi­lo­so­pher Arthur Schopenhauer would be on­ly too plea­sed to see phi­lo­so­phers and wri­ters re­ac­ting to his ide­as – to see Hegel gi­ving up his thro­ne, and the el­der­ly Goethe pay­ing tri­bu­te to him, a me­re 30 ye­ar old. But pu­bli­ca­ti­on of his ground­brea­king work has be­en de­lay­ed.

Lord Byron of Rochdale, born 1788, di­ed 1824.

And so Schopenhauer lea­ves Dresden for Italy in the la­te sum­mer of 1818 wi­thout his book in his suit­ca­se – he is still a no­bo­dy. Even be­fo­re he ar­ri­ves he at­tracts the at­ten­ti­on of Metternich’s se­cret po­li­ce: Goethe’s no­te re­com­men­ding him to Lord Byron – a man with a wi­de re­pu­ta­ti­on as a po­et and as a fi­gu­re of scan­dal – casts sus­pi­ci­on on Schopenhauer and makes him un­wel­co­me in Austrian-oc­cu­pied Veneto. But on­ce he gets to Venice, Schopenhauer re­fu­ses to be dri­ven out – and cer­tain­ly not af­ter he meets Teresa. For Teresa shows the young phi­lo­so­pher that he still needs to re­think one point in his world view: his idea of love.

The first votes are in: Booksellers‹ praise for »Die Welt ist im Kopf«

»an ama­zing de­but« »one of the li­tera­ry high­lights this ye­ar« »I ne­ver thought that this to­pic could fa­sci­na­te me so much. A grip­ping no­vel with an in­sight in­to the 19. cen­tu­ry« »Schopenhauer, Lord Byron, Goethe, Brockhaus, Metternich – true­ly ho­no­r­able na­mes ap­pe­ar in this book. And all are pre­sen­ted as strong in­di­vi­du­al cha­rac­ters.« »Christoph Poschenrieder tells li­vely and poi­gnant – his lan­guage is be­au­ti­ful­ly cho­sen.« »one of the smar­test books this spring«

… and here’s a first batch of press reviews:

»The World in the Head tru­ly de­ser­ves to be cal­led a pas­sio­na­te de­but. Christoph Poschenrieder not on­ly shows a re­mar­kab­le feel for lan­guage but al­so a sen­se for iro­ny and joy in his sto­ry-tel­ling.« buch­jour­nal »With an in­tui­ti­ve sen­se of the past, Christoph Poschenrieder suc­ceeds not on­ly in por­tray­ing Schopenhauer in love but al­so de­picts a li­vely pan­ora­ma of an era torn bet­ween Restoration and the de­si­re for free­dom.« Magazin In München »Christoph Poschenrieder’s de­but nego­tia­tes the de­li­ca­te li­ne bet­ween his­to­ri­cal fact and li­tera­ry fic­tion, and does so in a con­vin­cing and grip­ping man­ner. His de­but is an in­spi­ring jour­ney through phi­lo­so­phy and art.« Ostthüringer Zeitung
»As well as sim­ply a splendid por­trait of an ex­ci­ting epoch, this no­vel de­li­vers a re­fi­ned love sto­ry re­p­le­te with se­cret agents, the Venetian Carnival, and a dog. Whosoever is re­ady to cast asi­de cli­chés of Schopenhauer the phi­lo­so­pher as mi­so­gy­nist and pes­si­mist, will gle­an much plea­su­re from this in­tel­li­gent book.« li​te​ra​tur​ku​rier​.de »Poschenrieder has suc­cee­ded in bre­at­h­ing li­fe in­to a po­ten­ti­al­ly un­wiel­dy sub­ject.« Rheinische Post »The charm of this book lies in the author’s abi­li­ty to be in­spi­red by Schopenhauer’s re­al li­fe and to make the ba­re facts pulsa­te with li­fe – he makes the re­ader cu­rious to re-dis­co­ver one of the gre­at minds of German phi­lo­so­phy. No me­an feat: a start­ling de­but no­vel.« Augsburger Allgemeine »Poschenrieder’s sen­si­ti­ve and li­vely ima­gi­na­ti­on draws us in­to a tor­rent of poe­try and truth, a whirl­pool of quo­tes, al­lu­si­ons, and events that crea­te a pan­or­amic view of the time with a twist of the gro­tes­que. A won­der­ful­ly in­tel­li­gent, ex­ci­ting, mas­ter­ful­ly com­po­sed book, one that is a sen­su­al de­light to read. A flaw­less good read for the in­itia­ted.« Landshuter Zeitung »Never have we ex­pe­ri­en­ced the pre­su­med pes­si­mist in this light. Here is an un­ex­pec­ted Schopenhauer, a world away from the pes­si­mistic, bad-tem­pe­red cli­ché. Poschenrieder de­scri­bes it all from a de­li­ca­te­ly iro­nic slant in in­credi­b­ly fi­nely craf­ted lan­guage that brings a vi­va­ci­ty and relish to the his­to­ri­cal facts.« hr-on­line

And »New Books in German« says:

»This won­der­ful­ly sen­si­ti­ve and li­vely no­vel cen­tres on the phi­lo­so­pher Arthur Schopenhauer’s first jour­ney to Italy in 1819 at the age of thir­ty one, ha­ving just com­ple­ted his ma­gnum opus The World as Will and Representation. Both re­spect­ful and play­ful at the sa­me time, Poschenrieder makes the most of the ex­hil­ara­ting de­tail of the ce­le­bra­ted thinker’s li­fe.«
(Complete re­view)

About the Author

Christoph Poschenrieder, born in 1964 ne­ar Boston, Massachusetts, lives in Munich, Germany. He stu­di­ed at the Jesuits’ Hochschule für Philosophie in Munich, and wro­te his the­sis on Schopenhauer. He al­so at­ten­ded the Columbia University Journalism School, New York City. He has be­en working as a fre­e­lan­ce jour­na­list and do­cu­men­ta­ry film ma­ker sin­ce 1993; sin­ce 2001 he has al­so be­en wri­ting in­st­ruc­tion ma­nu­als for com­pu­ter soft­ware. ›The World is in the Head‹ is his first no­vel. He is al­re­ady working on the next one.

The Publisher: Diogenes

Diogenes is Europe’s lar­gest pu­blisher pu­re­ly de­di­ca­ted to li­tera­ry fic­tion. Here’s mo­re in­for­ma­ti­on on Diogenes (in English).