There is little redemption for pessimism, and no consolation prize. Ultimately, pessimism is weary of everything and of itself.
In raising problems without solutions, in posing questions without answers, in retreating to the hermetic, cavernous abode of complaint, pessimism is guilty of that most inexcusable of Occidental crimes - the crime of not pretending its for real. Pessimism fails to live up to the most basic tenet of philosophy - the 'as if'. Think as if it will be helpful, act as if it will make a difference, speak as if there is something to say, live as if you are not, in fact, being lived by some murmuring non-entity both shadowy and muddied.
Pessimism tries very hard to present itself in the low, sustained tones of a Requiem Mass, or the tectonic rumbling of Tibetan chant. But it frequently lets loose dissonant notes at once plaintive and pathetic. Often, its voice cracks, its weighty words abruptly reduced to mere shards of guttural sound.
For pessimism the world is brimming with negative possibility, the collision of a bad mood with an impassive world. in fact, pessimism is the result of a confusion between the world and a statement about the world, a confusion that also prevents it from fully entering the hallowed halls of philosophy. If pessimism is so often dismissed, this is because it is often impossible to separate a 'bad mood' from a philosophical proposition (and do not all philosophies stem from a bad mood?).
The very term 'pessimism' suggests a school of thought, a movement, even a community. But pessimism always has a membership of one - maybe two. Ideally, of course, it would have a membership of none, with only a scribbled, illegible note left behind by someone long forgotten.
Pessimism always falls short of being philosophical. My back aches, my knees hurt, I couldn't sleep last night, I'm stressed out, and I think I'm finally coming down with something. Pessimism abjures all pretenses towards system - towards the purity of analysis and the dignity of critique.
... a pessimism about cosmos, about the necessity and possibility of order. the contours of cosmic pessimism are a drastic scaling-up or scaling down of the human point of view, the unhuman orientation of deep space and deep time, and all of this shadowed by an impasse, a primordial insignificance, the impossibility of every adequately accounting for one's relationship to thought - all that remains of pessimism is the desiderata of affects - agonistic, impassive, defiant, reclusive, filled with sorrow and flailing at that architectonic chess match called philosophy, a flailing that pessimism tries to raise to the level of an art form (though what usually results is slapstick).
Doom is marked by temporality - all things precariously drawn to their end - whereas gloom is the austerity of stillness, all hings sad, static, and suspended., hovering over cold lichen stones and damp fir trees. If doom is the terror of temporality and death, then gloom is the horror of a hovering stasis that is life.
We do not live, we are lived. what would a philosophy have to be to begin from this, rather than to arrive at it?
for the pessimist, the smallest detail can be an indication of a metaphysical futility so vast and funereal that it eclipses pessimism itself ...
... the forgotten followers of Schopenhauer, some of them, like Philipp Mainlaender, having committed suicide immediately after completing their books ...
Impersonal sadness. To become overgrown, like a ruin.
One always admits to being a pessimist.
Pessimism's propositions have all the gravitas of a bad joke.
It is striking how many of the works of pessimism are incomplete - Pascal's Pensees, Leopardi's Zibaldone, Lichtenverg's Sudenbuecher, Joubert's Carnets, the stray fragments of Csath, Kafka, Klima, Pessoa... These are not just works that the author was unable to complete, cut short by illness, depression, or distraction. These are works designed for incompletion - their very existence renders them dubious. I like to think this is why such works were so precious to their authors - but also so insignificant, a drawer of paper scraps, in no particular order, abandoned at one's death, like one's own corpse.
Eugene Thacker, Cosmic Pessmism