Thursday, June 7, 2012

50BC2012 #2: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for MeaningMan's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My only regret is that I didn't read this book earlier in life. The seemingly clinical detachment with which Frankl writes clears the way for the meaning of his words. it is the lessons he draws from his experiences that are so valuable, not the recollections of the experiences themselves. He recounts harrowing and heartbreaking stories from his personal experience during the Holocaust, but to hold it up as an example of suffering that everyone at least intellectually understands, if not viscerally. The concept of "unconditional meaningfulness" and it's connection to Frankl's Logotherapy is a powerful one. William Winslade's afterword in this edition is a wonderfully concise and informative biography of Frankl, and helps to summarize some of ideas espoused in the first part of the book. Frankl's search for a "tragic optimism" underscores the journeys of so many, and I do think that this is one of the most important books of the twentieth century, and likely beyond, as I think the search for meaning will always be part of what it is to be human.

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