With its stunning advances in science and technology, the nineteenth century was a century of optimism. Hegel’s presentation of the history of the West as a Bildungsroman, a story of the ever-increasing realization of “reason” in human affairs, captured the spirit of the times. Schopenhauer, however – the only major philosopher to declare himself a pessimist – regarded Hegel’s story as a heartless fiction. Progress, he held, is a delusion: life was, is, and always will be, suffering: “the ceaseless efforts to banish suffering achieve nothing but a change in its form”. Far, then, from being the creation of a benevolent God, or of his surrogate, Hegelian “reason”, the world is something that “ought not to exist”.