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The Spinoza Problem by Irvin D. Yalom

The Spinoza Problem (2012)

by Irvin D. Yalom

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (8)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Juxtaposition, thy name is Yalom! This story weaves between 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza's excommunication by the rabbinical leaders of Amsterdam's Jewish community, and a young Alfred Rosenberg's attempt to understand how Germany's most celebrated literary mind, Goethe, could revere and lean so heavily upon the work of a Jewish mind like Spinoza. Rosenberg would go on to pen The Myth of the Twentieth Century and be considered the Nazi's leading ideologue. ( )
  lanewillson | Apr 24, 2019 |
This is a work of fiction that, as the author says, could have happened. He tells the story of Spinoza's philosophy and expulsion from the Jewish community, interspersed with the story of Nazi party official Alfred Rosenberg who admired Spinoza's ideas while hating his race. This is a novel driven by ideas more than plot or character, and provides insight into philosophical thought, religion, and the extremes of intolerance. ( )
  LynnB | Jan 31, 2015 |
Een moeilijk en boeiend boek over het leven en de filosofie van Spinoza, afgezet tegen dat van Alfred Rosenberg, de rechterhand van Hitler. Actueel vanwege de huidige politieke situatie met aanslagen in Parijs en bewaking van Joodse gebouwen. ( )
  elsmvst | Jan 17, 2015 |
Heerlijke manier om het gedachtengoed van van een oude filosoof tot je te nemen. Blijft ook veel beter hangen op deze manier.
Religie geheel ontmantelen in een tijd en omgeving waarin dit zijn gehele omgeving bepaalde (amsterdam, joodse samenleving). ( )
  pjotrb | Feb 25, 2013 |
Het verhaal van de (door de auteur zelf verzonnen?) levenslange obsessie van nazi-kopstuk Alfred Rosenberg met de jood Baruch Spinoza. Eerder kunstmatig en oppervlakkig. ( )
  joucy | Jan 17, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irvin D. Yalomprimary authorall editionscalculated
Prina, SerenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As the final rays of light glance off the water of the Zwanenburgwal, Amsterdam closes down.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465029639, Hardcover)

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?

Spinoza himself was no stranger to punishment during his lifetime. Because of his unorthodox religious views, he was excommunicated from the Amsterdam Jewish community in 1656, at the age of twenty-four, and banished from the only world he had ever known. Though his life was short and he lived without means in great isolation, he nonetheless produced works that changed the course of history.
Over the years, Rosenberg rose through the ranks to become an outspoken Nazi ideologue, a faithful servant of Hitler, and the main author of racial policy for the Third Reich. Still, his Spinoza obsession lingered. By imagining the unexpected intersection of Spinoza’s life with Rosenberg’s, internationally bestselling novelist Irvin D. Yalom explores the mindsets of two men separated by 300 years. Using his skills as a psychiatrist, he explores the inner lives of Spinoza, the saintly secular philosopher, and of Rosenberg, the godless mass murderer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:49 -0400)

Alfred Rosenberg, a Nazi ideologue, is convinced of German cultural greatness but he becomes haunted by the intellectual legacy of his hero, Goethe, when he discovers the poet's regard for the Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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