The Denial of Death

The Denial of Death

Ernest Becker, Sam Keen (Foreword)
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Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1974 & the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant & 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 & issues a call to life & its living that still resonates more than twenty years after its writing.

Becker states that humans live in both the physical world & a symbolic world of meaning, which is where our 'immortality project' resides. We create in order to become immortal - to become part of something we believe will last forever. In this way we hope to give our lives meaning. 

In The Denial of Death, Becker sheds new light on the nature of humanity & issues a call to life & its living that still resonates decades after it was written.

Ernest Becker was already dying when The Denial of Deathwas published 50 years ago this past fall. “This is a test of everything I’ve written about death,” he told a visitor to his Vancouver hospital room. Throughout his career as a cultural anthropologist, Becker had charted the undiscovered country that awaits us all. Now only 49 but losing a battle to colon cancer, he was being dispatched there himself. By the time his book was awarded a Pulitzer Prize the following spring, Becker was gone... 

Only by confronting our own mortality, Becker argued, could we live more fully. To hold that terror is to see more clearly what matters & what does not — and how important it is to grasp the difference. Contemplating death is like a cold plunge for the soul, a prick to the amygdala. You emerge renewed, your vision clarified. “To talk about hope is to give the right focus to the problem,” Becker wrote. — Alexander Nazaryan, NY Times, Dec. 2023

Free Press, Simon and Schuster
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ISBN 13:
EPUB, 569 KB
CID , CID Blake2b
english, 1973
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