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Man's Search for Meaning (1946)

by Viktor E. Frankl

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,902273369 (4.25)238
In this work, a Viennese psychiatrist tells his grim experiences in a German concentration camp which led him to logotherapy, an existential method of psychiatry. This work has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 the author, a psychiatrist labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, he argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. His theory, known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (meaning), holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.… (more)
  1. 70
    Night by Elie Wiesel (bnbookgirl)
  2. 10
    The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi (ShaneTierney)
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    Man's Search for Himself by Rollo May (galacticus)
  4. 10
    At the Mind's Limit by Jean Améry (ShaneTierney)
  5. 00
    If This Is a Man / The Truce by Primo Levi (WendyRobyn)
    WendyRobyn: Both personal accounts by Holocaust survivors. I feel the tone is similar. Frankl's book goes on to explore psychological implications of his experiences.
  6. 00
    Existential Psychology by Rollo May (galacticus)
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    Freedom and Destiny by Rollo May (Navarone)
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» See also 238 mentions

English (247)  Spanish (9)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (264)
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
Es el libro de cabecera de la persona que me lo regaló, lo relee habitualmente (ayuda su corta extensión) y regala ejemplares a las personas que aprecia. Yo lo desconocía más allá de haberlo visto expuesto en librerías, pero nunca me atrajo y he tenido que hacer un ejercicio de empatía con lo expuesto debido a la desensibilización que sentimos los ciudadanos del primer mundo ante las crueldades totalitarias de antaño, particularmente ante el nazismo, fenómeno pop donde los haya gracias a la abundancia de películas y obras literarias acríticas sobre el hecho.

Mi amigo esgrime razones sobre la obra que, conociéndole, entiendo aunque no comparta: el autor es una eminencia en el campo de la logoterapia (no es extraño siendo el creador de la disciplina) y la Library of Congress dice que es uno de los diez libros más influyentes en Estados Unidos. Para mí, por el contrario, que cada día recelo más de las listas ordenadas a pesar de lo que me gustaban en el pasado, su fuerza reside en la perspectiva (a)moral que emana al poner en el mismo plano a verdugos y víctimas, mostrándoles como víctimas de sus circunstancias y sus cambios de actitud según el contexto. Más allá de la exposición de primera mano de lo que ya conocemos de los campos de concentración, encuentro valiosa su visión de los prisioneros que se comportaban con crueldad extrema con otros prisioneros y la de los oficiales de las SS que hacían sesiones de espiritismo donde invitaban a algunos presos por su interés o clase intelectual. Y todo esto puedo decirlo desde mi postura de condena a las personas sometidas por el poder, emane este del absurdo eje que emane, y sabiendo que las atrocidades del nazismo solo tuvieron comparación en la contemporaneidad con las del estalinismo. Y las del maoísmo. Y las de... Un no parar si nos ponemos.

Pero lo que más he apreciado ha sido la adenda final, donde se desarrollan brevemente los principios de la logoterapia, su propuesta personal de psicoterapia que, desde el desconocimiento del grueso de estos campos, en mi mente ha sonado a magia poderosa en comparación con enfoques que encuentro más científicos y orientados a la práctica clínica moderna como el cognitivo-conductual. Entendiendo su preocupación por los aspectos rumiativos de la personalidad, su empeño en encontrar una solución espiritual a los males del existencialismo (más bien a su ausencia), basándose en ayudas como el retorno a las tradiciones o el apoyo en las creencias religiosas, y empeñándose en alejar la experiencia humana de la de otros primates, chocan frontalmente con varios de mis principios y creencias y entablan un diálogo con mi cerebro donde el entendimiento es más deseo que posibilidad. Por suerte, ni el autor estuvo ni yo estoy dispuesto a llevar nuestras opiniones a los límites de miseria humana que sufrió en sus carnes; sin embargo, uno mira alrededor y lee la prensa y solo puede pensar que hace falta enfrentarse a nuevas ideas y visiones del mundo para saber que, aunque no estemos de acuerdo, hay que resucitar el diálogo real (no el circo político) antes de que crucemos el Rubicón otra vez. Ni cien años han esperado para retornar los enemigos de la civilización. ( )
  tecniferio | May 12, 2022 |
Absolutely brilliant read. His insight into humanity is truly a revelation. This book may show you a path to better understand yourself or fellow human. ( )
  Theriq | Apr 20, 2022 |
4/7/22 Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Why I picked this book up: I read this in high school, really enjoyed it and wanted to reread it. I wanted to see how Dr. Frankl was able to make it through Nazi concentration camp, he he did it and what it takes to keep going.

Thoughts: overall, I love this book. Though he was taken through the whole ordeal, separation, fear of maybe dying, being belittled, treated like an animal, watching how he laughed, laughed missing his wife, sharing he was a doctor, the freeing climate, having all his hair cut off his body, how he interacted with others, what he shared and didn’t, how mentality, the human perspective, the psychological aspect how motivation, desire to share his inspirational story. It was not about giving up, it was about we all have difficulties people often fall off but he showed he it is possible to continue.

Why I finished this read: I had to finish this amazing book, I have Multiple Sclerosis, it has been extremely difficult and my mind tells me to give up but I cannot give up. I can’t be the example to my children that I quit. This book shows me it is possible!

Stars rating: 5/5 ( )
  DrT | Apr 7, 2022 |
The story of his time in the concentration camps and what he had to do mentally to get through it was very interesting. Once it got into the descriptions of logotherapy and psychotherapy he lost me. ( )
  WellReadSoutherner | Apr 6, 2022 |
Existential crisis?
Just read this, trust me, you can thank me later. ( )
  diogsis | Apr 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (80 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Viktor E. Franklprimary authorall editionscalculated
Allport, Gordon WPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aveline, Carlos C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Šuvajevs, IgorsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Åkerberg, Hans, professorPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bacon, Clifford J.Traductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benigno Freire, JoséEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drolet, LouiseTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edgardh, MargaretaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eitinger, LeoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrera, GabrielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrero-Velarde, Gabriel InsaustiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hygen, Johan B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Insausti Herrero-Velarde, GabrielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kalmar, JanosPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kopplhuber, ChristineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kushner, Harold S.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lasch, IlseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcel, GabrielForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martínez, FrancescaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDonald, Alonzo L.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metspalu, PiretTÕlkija.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearson, BrigidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pisano, HelenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stegmaier, Anna-MariaPostfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winslade, William J.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To the memory of my mother
First words
This book does not claim to be an account of facts and events but of personal experiences, experiences which millions of prisoners have suffered time and again.
Quotations
He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.
Man's inner strangth may raise him about his outward fate
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you feel and do about what happens to you.
Life is meaningful and that we must learn to see life as meaningful despite our circumstances.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

In this work, a Viennese psychiatrist tells his grim experiences in a German concentration camp which led him to logotherapy, an existential method of psychiatry. This work has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 the author, a psychiatrist labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, he argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. His theory, known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (meaning), holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

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Beacon Press

3 editions of this book were published by Beacon Press.

Editions: 080701429X, 0807014265, 0807014273

 

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