Love ya, Artie!!

Yeah, definitely NOT an Artie.

I doubt anyone ever called Schopenhauer “Artie” to his face, or even ‘Art’ for that matter. I just like calling him that because I can feel how inappropriate it is when I look upon that severe, scowling, chop-lined face … and let’s not forget the “I’ve just been electrocuted” hair. But I digress….. The Rogers’ Cup began this past weekend in Toronto, and the decorated Serbian Janko Tipsarevic won’t be there (retired early from injury). I say decorated because not only is he a great young player, but he’s got a fair bit of ink … very interesting tattoos. Two of which interest me most: he has a quote by Dostoyevsky on his left arm and a quote on his back from Schopenhauer. I found quite a few sites mentioning this fact about Tipsarevic, but one blog in particular caught my eye for saying “Oh, and about those tattoos. According to Wikipedia, they reflect his love of classic literature (rather unusual for a pro athlete) …. Word has it that he reads Goethe and Nietzsche – for fun.” Okay, while I will admit it is rare to hear of pro-athletes reading literature such as those stated, I get the feeling the emphasis on ‘fun’ shows some mockery. As if those things are not fun to read … like somehow on the fun scale they rate lower than reading Twilight novels or a grocery store gossip rag. Has this blogger tried reading Nietzsche? If not, he is missing out on a good time. Let me say out loud that I am impressed by this 23 year old’s reading list, and I wish there were more like him in this world. And since I find those things ‘fun’ too, he just became even sexier. *sigh*

That being said, I could not find a single website with details as to what this Schopenhauer tattoo says. I found not one single picture or note on which wise quote Tipsarevic chose to tattoo on his body. For those of you unfamiliar with the wisdom of ol’ Artie, in a nutshell he was an 18th/19th-Century (1788 – 1860) German philosopher who was greatly inspired by Plato, Kant and Leibniz. His work is considered rather pessimistic, even though I disagree for reasons I won’t state here, since he believed that the world was filled with endless strife. His masterpiece was a work titled The World as Will and Representation (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung), a book about the double aspect of the world and is considered his solution to the Kantian problem of Noumena-Phenomena. I consider him to be one of the most misunderstood philosophers, right there beside Nietzsche, and one who ought to be read, especially with Kant. I also think Artie offered a solution Kant wouldn’t have minded too terribly. I almost want to call him a Neo-Kantian, (but the Neo-Kantians from the 19th-Century have a reputation …. nevermind) but he isn’t. He was inspired by Kant, but didn’t agree with him all the time — nuff said. Schopenhauer was an odd fellow, rather curmudgeonly at times, but never dull. He lost a lawsuit to a woman whom he alleged assaulted (he pushed her). He came close to marrying at least once but backed out because he felt “Marrying means, to grasp blindfolded into a sack hoping to find out an eel out of an assembly of snakes.” The only companions he had long term were two standard poodles, Atma and Butz. Funny thing was with each new set of dogs he named them the same names. And then there was the dislike he had for Hegel, absolutely legendary (he called him a clumsy charlatan). Yeah, ol’ Artie was quite the character.

Back to the tattoos of Tipsarevic …. I have been thinking about this for many hours and there are so many great things ol’ Artie said that it’s just hard to pick one. He was a well-read, well-educated man who even had a vast knowledge of Eastern Philosophies (Hinduism and Buddhism to name two). However, one cannot neglect that he also said some pretty nasty things about women, and he wasn’t a believer in romance or love. And of course all of this just adds to the mystery of the Schopenhauer quote on Tipsarevic’s back. It makes me wonder more things …. what he likes about Schopenhauer exactly, what works has he read and what drew him to pick up ol’ Artie in the first place. I guess I just might have to ask him.

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