Bestselling novelist and psychiatrist Irvin Yalom explores the mindsets of Jewish philosopher Spinoza and Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg. Spinoza’s portrait is fictional. The stone in a former graveyard, does not mark the exact place of his grave. All this gives Irvin Yalom plenty room. Irvin Yalom’s novel ‘The Spinoza Problem’ is reviewed by J. Scott Lewis.

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Rosenberg was an anti-Semite of the first order and ultimately hanged as a war criminal for his part in creating the Final Solution. East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. I learned of this author through one of my friends on Goodreads. Irvin David Yalom, M.

Book review: “The Spinoza Problem” by Irvin Yalom | Katevents

Swinging between one and the other keeps the reader entertained awakens his curiosity in the story. I love his style — it’s fluid, it molds on every type of subject and it somehow incorporates scientific or historical information in such a way that you don’t even realize anymore which is fact and which is fiction.

In his introduction, the author mentions he visited places where Spinoza lived and worked. I think Spinoza is one of the greatest human beings to have ever walked this tge and the way in which Yalom described his thoughts, ideas and struggles was absolutely fascinating. Oct 17, Ali. The philosophical ideas are far easier to digest, as Spinoza or his s interpreter, Dr.

The second thread is also connected with the success of the Jewish community. Buy the selected items together This item: Nietzsche, Schopenhauer e Espinosa. These questions do not influence the overall rhythm of the story, but they pop up between the pages. Spinoza seems a spinoaa of Christ forgiving all, even the attempt of assassination.

These two issues are the components of the eponymous Spinoza Problem as presented by Yalom.

The Spinoza Problem: A Novel (Book Review)

Yalom is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford, a practicing psychiatrist, and an author of nonfiction as well as novels. Rosenberg is stunned to discover that Goethe, his idol, was tje great admirer of the Jewish seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Just a moment th we sign you in to your Goodreads account.


On the one hand the Jewish community is a necessary condition for achieving what it has accomplished – a relatively civilised society.

What are the irrational convictions that we still operate with? The Spinoza Problem was fairly snappy though due to an intriguing dual plot. In Yalom’s narrative Rosenberg’s virulent anti-Semitism is made problematic by the attested devotion of the German poet and national symbol, Johann von Goethe to the Jew, Spinoza.

The Spinoza Problem: A Novel (Book Review)

But we also get the sense of deep isolation and loneliness under which Spinoza worked on his ideas. This site uses cookies.

Spinoza, one philosopher admired by Ben-Gurion. In addition, the author creates the atmosphere for Jews living in Europe following the Spanish Inquisition. In fact there is NOT much of a link to go on, between Rosenberg and Spinoza; it feels like a false or inflated premise.

There’s a problem loading this menu right now. What does it imply to think ahead of your time? Rosenberg seems a mousy man neurotic between his admiration for Spinoza and his commitment Nazi. He is withdrawn as a hermit to polish glass. Yalom, Emeritus in Psychiatry at Stanfordalso seems to have a strong following of enthusiastic readers. The sturm und drang faced by Rosenberg and Spinoza serve as examples of the fate of all humankind, and the interconnectedness of identity through time.

However, there were times when I felt that the writing became biased towards conventional psychoanalysis and that the technique took center stage instead of the story. The philosopher who many say set the building blocks of Enlightenment is followed, contrary to our general belief in progress and general hope of a better future, by other so called philosophers who brought the world into one of its darkest places.

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But the “link” which drives the novel — Rosenberg’s “obsession” with Spinoza — can’t sustain it, and the endless psychobabble that goes on as both characters get psychoanalyzed is the source of the tedium.

Here’s how he might put it if he were standing here today: Under the penetrating light of his intellect, the Torah sounds to him contradictory, mythological and — worse — imprisoning. Start reading The Spinoza Problem: Like a good teacher, he presents only a few ideas at a time and moves carefully from one to the next with frequent recapitulation The philosophical novel then forms a bridge from the deep thinker in his ivory tower and the everyday spinnoza.

I thought there were positives and negatives in the book which had me swinging between giving it five stars and giving it three stars. I question its historical accuracy, but it did keep my attention throughout. And also, pretty much, it’s a novel in which nothing happens.

At times this is a difficult book to read, particularly the parts where Rosenberg is going on about his racial superiority ideas if one didn’t know about the rise of the Reich and the Final Solution, it would seem implausible that these ideas could actually take over a political system. Thus, Rosenberg is irvjn ineffectual, intellectually-challenged snob. Staring at the Sun: On the other hand, I liked the psychiatric conversations involving the character of Friedrich Tbe.

Though his life was short and he lived without means in great isolation, he nonetheless produced works that changed the course of history.