The Metaphysical Vision: Arthur Schopenhauer’s Philosophy of Art and Life and Samuel Beckett’s Own Way to Make Use of It expands upon the ideas and theories set forth in the author’s Die eigentlich metaphysische Tätigkeit: Über Schopenhauers Ästhetik und ihre Anwendung durch Samuel Beckett, published (in German) in 1982 and hailed by Catharina Wulf in her book The Imperative of Narration (1997) as an «excellent study» and «the most thorough enquiry into Beckett and Schopenhauer.»
In the last years of the twentieth century, new documents regarding Samuel Beckett’s reading and thinking, especially important notebooks and letters, have become accessible to scholars. These documents show much more clearly than could ever be demonstrated previously that Beckett had a strong, lifelong interest in Schopenhauer’s philosophy. There is no other philosopher to whom Beckett refers more often in his personal comments throughout the years of his writing up to his seventies; no other philosopher whose view of life and the world comes closer to the image of human existence we find in Samuel Beckett’s literary work. The striking similarity in matters of world view and human life, and especially the evidence obtained from Beckett’s previously unknown notebooks and letters, call for a close systematic study of the Beckett-Schopenhauer relationship. Due to its comprehensiveness and in-depth approach, The Metaphysical Vision is, and will be for many years to come, what its forerunner was for more than two decades: the most thorough enquiry into Beckett and Schopenhauer.