Bookish thoughts

What’s the point?

I’ve been reading two books, one fiction, one non-fiction.

In John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, Augustus Waters reminds the narrator Hazel Grace that “The world is not a wish-granting factory” (one of Green’s many wonderful phrases, which even has its own Tumblr).

The following day I’m looking through Alain De Botton’s ‘The Consolations of Philosophy’ at my desk, skimming the final chapter entitled ‘Consolation for a Broken Heart’, and happen on a summary of Schopenhauer’s view of life, that “[he] asks us not to be surprised by the misery. We should not ask for a point to being alive…”

Immediately I read Alain’s words (channeling Schopenhauer), it evoked Green’s phrase – the two thoughts connected. The idea that the world should a) exist to grant our wishes and b) have a point are two thoughts which, while on the face of it seem unhappy news, perhaps point to the source of unhappiness.