I checked out Arthur Schopenhauer’s Essays and Aphorisms, because I am a fan of aphorisms, which are like compact little essays. I am guessing that Schopenhauer’s disciple Nietzsche acquired this habit from his master. Schopenhauer’s pessimistic view of humanity seemed to sit well with me, for some reason, as I was reading it a few weeks back. There’s an excellent introduction by R.J. Hollingdale that gives insight into the life of Schopenhauer and how his character and personality affected his thinking. Some of this is quite dated, such as his shockingly misogynist mediation on women. Here’s an example of one of his more thought provoking aphorisms:
Recompense, if recompense is possible can cure the injury done: but that bitter addition, the feeling ‘and that is what I have to put up with from you’ which often hurts more than the injury itself, can be neutralized only by revenge.