The Spinoza Problem

      Irvin D. Yalom
The Spinoza Problem

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.

Read online

    Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir

      Irvin D. Yalom
Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir

Bestselling writer and psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom puts himself on the couch in a lapidary memoir.

Irvin D. Yalom has made a career of investigating the lives of others. In this profound memoir, he turns his writing and his therapeutic eye on himself. He opens his story with a nightmare: He is twelve and is riding his bike past the home of an acne-scarred girl. Like every morning, he calls out, hoping to befriend her, "Hello Measles!" But in his dream, the girl's father makes Yalom understand that his daily greeting had hurt her. For Yalom, this was the birth of empathy; he would not forget the lesson. As Becoming Myself unfolds, we see the birth of the insightful thinker whose books have been a beacon to so many. This is not simply a man's life story, Yalom's reflections on his life and development are an invitation for us to reflect on the origins of our own selves and the meanings of our lives.

Read online

    When Nietzsche Wept

      Irvin D. Yalom
When Nietzsche Wept

A richly evocative novel set in 19th-century Vienna on the eve of the birth of psychoanalysis.

The eminent physician Josef Breuer is asked to treat Friedrich Nietzsche's suicidal despair after the end of a love affair - without his knowing it. The doctor devises an ingenious plan, which ultimately involves a young intern named Sigmund Freud.

Read online

    Lying on the Couch

      Irvin D. Yalom
Lying on the Couch

The highly respected author of Love's Executioner and When Nietzche Wept combines the authenticity of case history with the true artistry of fiction to create a novel in which an idealistic San Francisco therapist invents a new therapy--and outwits the scroundrels and skeptics who would do him in.

Read online

    Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy

      Irvin D. Yalom
Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy

"The publication of Creatures of a Day is reason to celebrate." --Steven Pinker
In this stunning collection of stories, renowned psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom describes his patients' struggles--as well as his own--to come to terms with the two great challenges of existence: how to have a meaningful life yet reckon with its inevitable end. We meet a nurse who must stifle the pain of losing her son in order to comfort her patients' pains, a newly minted psychologist whose studies damage her treasured memories of a lost friend, and a man whose rejection of psychological inquiry forces even Yalom himself into a crisis of confidence.

Creatures of a Day is a radically honest statement about the difficulties of human life, but also a celebration of some of the finest fruits--love, family, friendship--it can offer. Marcus Aurelius has written that "we are all creatures of a day." With Yalom as our guide, we will find the means to make our own day not only bearable, but also meaningful and joyful.

Read online

    Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy

      Irvin D. Yalom
Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy

The collection of ten absorbing tales by master psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom uncovers the mysteries, frustrations, pathos, and humor at the heart of the therapeutic encounter. In recounting his patients' dilemmas, Yalom not only gives us a rare and enthralling glimpse into their personal desires and motivations but also tells us his own story as he struggles to reconcile his all-too human responses with his sensibility as a psychiatrist. Not since Freud has an author done so much to clarify what goes on between a psychotherapist and a patient.

Read online

    The Schopenhauer Cure

      Irvin D. Yalom
The Schopenhauer Cure

Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a routine checkup, eminent psychotherapist Julius Hertzfeld is forced to reexamine his life and work -- and seeks out Philip Slate, a sex addict whom he failed to help some twenty years earlier. Yet Philip claims to be cured -- miraculously transformed by the pessimistic teachings of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer -- and is, himself, a philosophical counselor in training. Philips dour, misanthropic stance compels Julius to invite Philip to join his intensive therapy group in exchange for tutoring on Schopenhauer. But with mere months left, life may be far too short to help Philip or to compete with him for the hearts and minds of the group members. And then again, it might be just long enough.

Read online