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The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
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The Denial of Death (1973)

by Ernest Becker (Author)

Other authors: Sam Keen (Foreword)

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I've never really understood Freud. I've never really grasped that in Freud's strange doctrines lie some of the most profound insights into how we as humans work.

We are, to paraphrase, amazing children of God with the mental capacities to ponder the depths of eternity and to enjoy the beauties of the cosmos, yet we are also mortal creatures sentenced to death, creatures who eat and, after eating, must take dumps, must make dirt, must lay cables, must sprout the brown trouts -- in short, we are creatures who crap. Freud's doctrine attempted to make sense of these two wildly disparate facts -- i.e., of our child-of-God-ness and our mortal-creatures-who-crap-ness. That's no easy task. Neither is the task of comprehending Freud. But Becker definitely does it. I can't wait to read the book again (I've already read it twice). ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
One of the most important books ever written about a subject no one wants to even think about... ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
The book is written in an academic manner and is havy in psychological jargon. He is a big fan of Otto Rank and Sigmund Freud. Some of the concepts make alot of sense and are educational. I believe that the author makes too much of the differences between humans and other animals. He also often refers to the soul of man, which I believe is false concept. I agree that mankind does have a fear of death and that he/she tries to do things in their life toward gaining a sense of eternal life (hopelessly in reality). I concur that religion is one of these projects that provides a false security. I recommend the book to provide food for thought even though some ideas appear to be incorrect. ( )
  GlennBell | Dec 2, 2015 |
I actually managed to listen to this entire work on audio book unabridged. A bit dated by the inferences Becker gives throughout I still found a useful venture presenting an enormous amount of material and ideas to ponder and delve into. So many in fact that it becomes nearly overwhelming to just keep up. Agree or disagree with the concepts Becker brings forth, very worthwhile time spent. The final lesson I gleaned from it all is we probably don't know near what we think we do about the nature and meaning of man, ourselves and can only postulate as we so often do. ( )
  knightlight777 | Sep 8, 2015 |
An important book for all of us to read, though I bogged down a bit during the sex parts. It is possible I am not as familiar with all the so-called perversions and neurosis of sexuality and therefore the actually small bit of text referring to fetishes and homosexuality was lost on me. I know that most of what he wrote is true for me, without a smidgen of doubt. And those areas I admit ignorance of I will have to pass on my judgment, though those parts did seem a bit dated given our present social and political states regarding same-sex unions. But this book was not at all political. Becker was covering every possible neurosis in his study of our desire for immortality, and it was refreshing and freeing to read him say things such as, "…All living organisms are condemned to perversity, to the narrowness of being mere fragments of a larger totality that overwhelms them, which they cannot understand or truly cope with — yet must still live and struggle in." ( )
  MSarki | Jan 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Becker, ErnestAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keen, SamForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Non ridere, non lugere, neque detestari, sed intelligere. (Not to laugh, not to lament, not to curse, but to understand.) - Spinoza
Dedication
To the memory of my beloved parents, who unwittingly gave me - among many other things - the most paradoxical gift of all: a confusion about heroism.
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The prospect of death, Dr. Johnson said, wonderfully concentrates the mind.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684832402, Paperback)

Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the "why" of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie -- man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than twenty years after its writing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:43 -0400)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the ?why? of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie: man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than thirty years after its writing.… (more)

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