Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Experience of Nothingness” as Want to Read:
Experience of Nothingness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Experience of Nothingness

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In "The Experience of Nothingness, "Michael Novak has two objectives. First, he shows the paths by which the experience of nothingness is becoming common among all those who live in free societies. Second, he details the various experiences that lead to the nothingness point of view. Most discussions of these matters have been so implicated in the European experience that ...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Transaction Publishers (first published January 1st 1971)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Experience of Nothingness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Experience of Nothingness

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 90)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
You probably think, having read the title, this book is a complete downer. Maybe it is. Depends on your point of view. For me, it was actually rather uplifting. It's kind of like a handbook for rebranding existentialism. Or, how to reframe emptiness as fullness. (How's that for twisted optimism?)

If this quote speaks to you, it might be worth a real read:

"The choice to remain faithful to the drive to question (the fertile source of the experience of nothingness) brings with it an obscure joy. For
marie monroe
i clung to this book when my father died. i was 19. it helped to know that alienation, isolation and meaninglessness could be a peak spiritual experience.
Andrew Calderon
I enjoyed this book, mainly because Novak did a good job of capturing emotions and thoughts I've been grappling with for some time now. He made arguments about democracy and capitalism, and its effects on American society, i.e., the effects it has on us morally and intellectually. This topic seems to have been in fashion during the 1970s. He evinced the importance of Aristotelian ethics in contemporary society as a palliative for his diagnosis of American culture. Diagnosis: we have fallen prey ...more
Overall I found Novak's central argument(s) compelling and well-researched but he often lost me in his roundabout, somewhat convoluted train of thought.
Allison Tungseth
interesting look on American society
Nick marked it as to-read
May 02, 2015
Ibrahim Yunus
Ibrahim Yunus marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2015
Jeanine Thibodeaux
Jeanine Thibodeaux marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2015
Jacob J.
Jacob J. marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2015
Lexie marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2015
Hany marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
Amiri Barksdale
Amiri Barksdale marked it as to-read
Feb 16, 2015
Mjr marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2015
Donald Forster
Donald Forster marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2015
Janek Z
Janek Z marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Brad Terhune
Brad Terhune marked it as to-read
Dec 20, 2014
Karen Morano
Karen Morano marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2014
Kristen Sabol
Kristen Sabol marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Natalia Roa
Natalia Roa marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Washington's God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism Business as a Calling No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative

Share This Book

“I need not to be afraid of the void. The void is part of my person. I need to enter consciously into it. To try to escape from it is to try to live a lie. It is also to cease to be. My acceptance of despair and emptiness constitutes my being; to have the courage to accept despair is to be.” 6 likes
“The choice to remain faithful to the drive to question (the fertile source of the experience of nothingness) brings with it an obscure joy. For to be faithful to that to be constantly expanding one's horizon, constantly losing one's life, and constantly regaining it. It is to be as alert to other persons, to situations, and to events as one can: to their fragility and terror, as well as to their obscure coherence and often veiled beauty. To be faithful to the drive to question is to accept despair as one's due, to accept risk as one's condition, and to accept the crumbs of discovery as joy. [...] The darkness is habitable...Those who accept the darkness as their lot are instantly secure, not through some newfound solidity but through the perception that insecurity is man's natural state, a truthful state, a healthy state.” 2 likes
More quotes…