The Denial of Death

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by Ernest Becker

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

Our thoughts on The Denial of Death

I grabbed this book when I was in a mood of deep existential wonder. Death is always a difficult concept to discuss, as it is one of the things that all life on Earth has in common. Most if not, everyone fears death, but it is still something we should talk about.

The Denial of Death is less about death and more about what life means, and our role as humans in time. The book was written in 1973, but much of what is discussed still holds true. Becker weaves together insights from some of the world's most recognized psychologists, scientists, and philosophers on a variety of topics in an all-encompassing book. This book taught me how important repression, even though it has a negative connotation, is for humanity for us to live our lives. It showed me different perspectives on life and death, which is something we should always seek.

Our favourite quote from The Denial of Death

The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.

7 recommendations for The Denial of Death

7 recommendation for The Denial of Death

Book Summary

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The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.

— Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death