The Spinoza Problem

The Spinoza Problem

Hardback

By (author) Irvin D. Yalom

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  • Publisher: BASIC BOOKS
  • Format: Hardback | 321 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 36mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 6 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0465029639
  • ISBN 13: 9780465029631
  • Sales rank: 40,266

Product description

When sixteen-year-old Alfred Rosenberg is called into his headmaster's office for anti-Semitic remarks he made during a school speech, he is forced, as punishment, to memorize passages about Spinoza from the autobiography of the German poet Goethe. Rosenberg is stunned to discover that Goethe, his idol, was a great admirer of the Jewish seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Long after graduation, Rosenberg remains haunted by this Spinoza problem: how could the German genius Goethe have been inspired by a member of a race Rosenberg considers so inferior to his own, a race he was determined to destroy?

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Author information

Irvin D. Yalom, M.D., is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco. He is the author of many books, including "Love's Executioner," "Theory and Practice in Group Psychotherapy," and "When Nietzsche Wept." He lives with his wife in Palo Alto, California.

Review quote

Sir Anthony Hopkins, actor "This is the most intriguing novel I've read in many a year. Irvin Yalom has created a taut, deeply informative page turner. I enthusiastically recommend "The Spinoza Problem."" Jay Parini, author of "The Last Station" and "The Passages of H.M.""Spinoza had no 'real life' outside his reading and writing: he lived in his brilliant mind. So how do you write about a philosopher--a writer beloved of Goethe, Schopenhauer, and so many other thinkers--who spent most of his time in thought? And how do you regard Spinoza--a Jew whose work helped to usher in the Enlightenment--if, indeed, you're a Nazi? Irvin Yalom is just the writer to take on such a problem, and he solves it, with his own novelistic brilliance, in this vibrant book. In my view, Yalom is one of the most eclectic, wide-ranging, and dazzling writers of our time." Martin E. P. Seligman, author of "Flourish""Irvin Yalom is the most significant writer of psychological fiction in the world today. I didn't think he could top "When Nietzsche Wept" or "The Schopenhauer Cure," but he has. "The Spinoza Problem" is a masterpiece." Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry & Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego"Irvin Yalom's "The Spinoza Problem" is an amazing novel that combines fact and fiction in a spell-binding manner. Little is known about the psyche of either Baruch Spinoza or Alfred Rosenberg, yet using his extraordinary ability to peer into the minds of his patients, Dr. Yalom has produced a rare gem in existing literature. Only an incomparably gifted author could write such a fascinating and thought-provoking novel. A real page-turner." Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of "-Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity""The great-souled psychiatrist has written a novel about the great-souled philosopher. Ambitious, erudite, and engaging, "The Spinoza Problem"'s interweaving tale forces a reader to confront the fundament