Oswald Spengler


Oswald Spengler : biography

May 29, 1880 – May 8, 1936
  • Literary critic Northrop Frye said he "practically slept [with The Decline of the West] under my pillow for several years" while a student. Spengler’s book inspired Frye to have his own "vision of coherence", resulting in Anatomy of Criticism. Frye later criticized the over-reading of Spengler’s metaphorical system as actual history rather than an organizing principle.
  • In his book World of Wonders, writer Robertson Davies has narrator Magnus Eisengrim refer to Spengler’s conception that the Middle Ages had a Magian World View, the view that the world was filled with wonders. So the title itself is Davies’ nod to Spengler.
  • Spengler’s ideas parallel those of Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of civilizations theory.
  • James Blish’s Cities in Flight tetralogy explicitly lists Spengler’s theories as an influence on the future history of the Cities.
  • Perhaps Spengler influenced Charles Lindbergh’s view that Western nations should put aside their political differences and form an alliance against "foreign races" instead of fighting amongst themselves. Lindbergh also echoed Spengler’s concern about the effects of industrialization and materialism on Western Civilization, and as well as Spengler’s pessimism about the future.
  • The late paleoconservative political theorist Samuel T. Francis cited Spengler’s views on race as influential on his own. by Samuel Francis, American Renaissance, September 1994. by Samuel Francis, American Renaissance, March 1995.
  • American authors influenced by Spengler include Henry Miller, John dos Passos, H.P. Lovecraft, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who once referred to himself as an "American Spenglerian." British novelist Malcolm Lowry, painter Oskar Kokoschka, orchestra director Wilhelm Furtwängler, and filmmaker Fritz Lang were also fans of Spengler’s work.
  • The Hour of Decision influenced Malcolm X’s views on economics and his critiques of capitalism. He agreed with Spengler’s prediction that class conflict would eventually be surpassed by racial conflict. When asked about Karl Marx, Malcolm X (who had never read Marx) stated that he agreed with Spengler’s view of social class and economic systems as secondary to racial identity.
  • Beginning in January 2000, David P. Goldman wrote a column for Asia Times Online under the pseudonym "Spengler". He revealed his identity in April 2009.
  • Clear traces of Spengler’s philosophy can be found in the works of Canadian (Manitoba) novelist Gabrielle Roy. by Stephan Hardy, Cahiers franco-canadiens de l’Ouest, Vol. 13, No 2, 2001, p. 143-156
  • Certain deep ecologist and green anarchist thinkers such as John Zerzan and Derrick Jensen have cited Spengler as an influence when discussing the downfall of civilization and the overcoming of the natural world against man-made civilization. http://greenhouse.economics.utah.edu/pipermail/margins-to-centre/2005-November/000728.html
  • Comparative mythologist and mystic Joseph Campbell cited Spengler as an influence when describing the universality of myths among cultures.

There are indications that interest in Spengler is being rekindled.