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Tragic Sense of Life

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  708 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The acknowledged masterpiece of one of Spain's most influential thinkers. Between despair and the desire for something better, Unamuno finds that "saving incertitude" that alone can console us. Dynamic appraisal of man's faith in God and in himself.
Paperback, 367 pages
Published June 1st 1954 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1900)
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May 05, 2011 §-- rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: atheists and agnostics
Shelves: philosophy
The first half (until he warns you that he's about to go off the deep end) is one of the best books I've ever read. The second half is almost postmodern in its imbecility.

Heretical, placed on the Index of Prohibited Books, but still an exhilirating read by a powerful writer whose mind was fixed only on the most important questions--that of God and of death.

Unamuno is classed with the Generation of 98, but I think he is spiritually closer to the postwar existentialists, Camus, Sartre, and Heidegg
هیچ نمی دانم چرا این اثر شگرف فیلسوف اسپانیایی را آقای بهاء الدین خرمشاهی به "درد جاودانگی" ترجمه کرده است! اگرچه فصلی از کتاب به نام "عطش جاودانگی" ست و روی هم رفته میل به جاودانه بودن در انسان، در برخی از فصل های کتاب وصف می شود. با این همه و به گمان من "حس دردناک زندگی" با "درد جاودانگی" تفاوت هایی دارد!
We don't want to simply just vanish from this world, not without some kind of eternal memory of us, something that goes on and on that makes people say "I can't believe he died", or "such a loss" and such an irreplaceable loss, he, none other. I guess we all realize our hunger for immortality some way or another, and we do kind things, we love things and ourselves, we love other people and what we do, a passion for this universe, for rude life. Cheesy, I know. Well I really don't know. It's a gr ...more
دردی که درد همه ی انسان هاست!
Unamuno's defense of blind faith is, well, indefensible. He is a follower of the Tertullian creed: Credo quia Absurdum, or I believe because it is absurd. Because of our hunger for immortality, we create a god who gives a conscience to the universe and allows us to feel we have meaning. I prefer the courage of facing up to the truth of our mortality.

Unamuno prefers man as a feeling animal rather than a reasoning animal. I prefer the latter. Unamuno prefers to discuss "by metaphor." He ignores o
ویلیام برات درد جاودانگی را (تغزل فلسفی شگرف) نامیده است. زبان فلسفه زبانی است غامض، آکنده از اصطلاحات فنی و دیریاب. اما پای تغزل که به میان می آید، شور و سرود و سرمستی سر بر می آورد.
اونامونو برای جلوه گر ساختن این تغزل شگرف از واژگانی استفاده کرده است که همچون باران و شکوفه های بهاران پر از طراوت است. درد جاودانگی در اصل مبحث غامض فلسفی است، ولی این مبحث غامض با همت طلبی شکسپیر و دانته و میلتون و مولفان عهد جدید و در آمیختن قول و غزل آنها با درد اشتیاقی که از سینه شرحه شرحه از فراق بر می خیزد،
actually a book of philosophy with some true humanity, whether or not you agree with all
of his points. the eternal conflict between head and heart... an applicable topic for all of
us layman philosophers. in that sense: highly practical for daily life, but certainly not
practical in the sense of mundane. very accessible, as well. you can read this even if you
don't have to for a class (unlike whitehead, for example)! i kinda think it's necessary
از دوست داشتن چیزهای بی قدر مادی، که با باد می آیند و با باد می روند، و در عاطفه ما ریشه نمی بندند به دوست داشتن چیزهای پایدارتر می رسیم ، از عشق چیزهای خوب ، به عشق خوبی، و از عشق چیزهای زیبا به عشق زیبائی و از عشق و علاقه به چیزهای حقیقی، به عشق حقیقت و از عشق به شادی به عشق سعادت و آخرالامر به عشق عشق می رسیم. از خودمان فارغ می شویم که به خویشتن والا برسیم
Ahmad Sharabiani
تو بر پای خود مثل انسان، نه مانند حیوان بی دست و پا، مثل سرو و صنوبر، به پا ایستادی و مردی. اونامونو
Erwin Maack
Este livro segue um caminho parecido com o de Albert Camus e Ernest Becker []. Nos dá uma visão panorâmica diante do inevitável da vida. Ele foi escrito em 1.912 e tem um forte caráter profético à medida que discorre sobre a morte paulatina da fantasia diante do assombro que a razão e o senso prático vem nos causando. É acima de tudo escrito por um homem de coragem e sincero, que aposta em uma explicação católica e mais do que tudo religiosa para nos confo ...more
His stance:

"For my part I do not want to make peace between my heart and my head, between my faith and my reason; I prefer that they be at war. [...] My purpose is to war on all those who submit, whether to Catholicism, or to rationalism, or to agnosticism. My aim is to make all men live a life of restless longing."

His thesis:

"If annihilation must be our portion, let us act in such a way that we make it an unjust portion; let us fight against destiny, even without hope of victory; let us fight
Heather Smith
Unamuno's contention is that man's hunger for personal immortality is central and ineradicable. All religion and culture stems from our stark awareness of our mortality and our need for immortality. From man's heart he builds hope in an eternal, because he instinctively hungers for personal immortality. Yet man's reason convinces him there can be no immortality, thus feeling and reason -- heart and head -- are in everlasting deadlock. For Unamuno, all attempts to resolve this deadlock are futile ...more
Bruce W.
This books just reaffirmed my appreciation of Miguel de Unamuno's writing. I read some of de Unamuno's work while in grad school and greatly enjoyed it, and this text was just as pleasurable a read as his fictional works. In this text, de Unamuno examines the "tragic sense of life," the sense of our mortality and its impulse toward our desire for immortality. He sees behind this tragic sense the motivation for much of human thought.

This text is rather dense with frequent references to philosophe
While I do feel a bit bad about giving this book only one star, it really was not for me. I was hoping for something a bit more balanced, looking at the differences between religious and scientific views and how these two things have influenced the thinking of mankind. Granted this was written in the 14th Century but I always had the impression that philosphers could take a much wider view than the generally accepted views of the time. There were moments of superb insight which a more philsophic ...more
Levan Tsutskiridze
Unamuno's approach to accept the inability to rationalize everything, especially the most important issues of life and death and to give this desire of immortality a freer reign is interesting as well as coragous. He renders this struggle of reason and of will or of religion as the whole essence of life - tragic sense of life - masterfully. I like his take of human society, or of a civil society as an expression of men's desire of immortality, his talk of the civil service also. His conclusion o ...more
I really wanted to like this book. I ended up despising most of it--Unamuno's insistence on the need for faith in God is highly offensive. I would say, though, that some of the chapters ("Love, Suffering, and Pity" and "Faith, Hope, and Charity") contained a lot of excellent points regarding love, suffering, death, etc., that did not necessitate his theistic bent. I also think, though, that some of what he says in the context of belief in God can be divorced from the religious ethic and applied ...more
Read this years ago, am re-reading it now, and seeing how much it influenced my stance on life. I always knew it was very influential in my thinking, but didn't realize how much so. Really enjoying re-reading this. I loved Unamuno's work so much I went to the town he lived in in Spain and visited some of his old haunts, just to pay homage to the man and walk down the same cobbled streets he walked daily. Should add: do I agree with every conclusion he came to? No, but I love his vigor and I do a ...more
Fabulous critique of Christianity, and the question of immortality.

A tall, broad-shouldered, bony man, with high cheeks, a beak-like nose, pointed grey beard, and a complexion the colour of the red hematites* on which Bilbao, his native town, is built.
Unamuno resembles the Welsh in that he is not ashamed of showing his passions
But in a major, not in a minor key; of strong, not of weak passions
Hematite is a mineral, colored black to steel or silver-gray, brown to reddish brown, or red. It is mine
Jul 10, 2012 Hannah marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure this guy has some great insights but I just can't get past his writing style. It just seems...arrogant. Most of the time I found myself re-reading the same paragraph over and over again. I've attempted to finish this book twice now and I find myself avoiding my stack of books because I dread it so much. So forget it. Life is too short to have to try so hard to like someone else's writing styles.
yaser mirzaee
مقدمه و فصل اول کتاب اوج کتاب است. کتاب فوق‌العاده ای است ولی به نظرم رسید که هی دارد تکرار می‌کند حرفش را. نتوانستم تمامش کنم. از یک‌جایی به بعد برایم تکراری بود. البته شاید هم دلیلش این بود که ایده‌ی اونامونو را قبول نداشتم.
cuestionamientos existenciales sobre el proposito implicito de la vida . Un libro no muy largo pero si muy denso , para leer despacio y con cuidado .. .
ترجمه بهاءالدین خرمشاهی
پشت پا به هر فلسفه ای زده و عشق را تنها راه نجات و بقای بشر میداند...
I approached this book because it had been referenced many times in other works on the subject of "Tragic Vision" or "Tragic Sense of Life". The book is interesting. It is a poet doing philosophy and does not read like a typical work of philosophy. In fact it directly challenges what is knowable by rational means. The book is fascinating in that the author constructs a nearly entire theological and ethical system on one simple postulate: a universal instinct to self-preservation. The Tragic Sens ...more
Este tratado trata de lo mismo como todos las escrituras de Unamuno, pero a mí me gusta más en forma de ficción o de poesía. Mientras leía este libro, sentí muchas veces como si estaba leyendo el mismo ensayo una y otra vez, pero con diferentes ejemplos. Unamuno está verdaderamente obsesionado. Reacciona, como la mayoría de la gente, por hablar constantemente de la misma cosa y concluir siempre con las mismas respuestas. La diferencia es que la mayoría de la gente no publica sus divagaciones com ...more
Nov 11, 2014 Alex is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The full title is The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations, and I am reading Anthony Kerrigan's translation.
Mohamad Yoosofi
کسی که انتظار ضربه‌ی هول‌ناکی را داشته باشد که گزیری از آسیبش ندارد، چنان نگران می‌شود که پیشاپیش به پیش‌واز رنج می‌رود و چون ضربه فرود آید، تقریباً هیچ دردی حس نمی‌کند؛ ولی بعد که به‌خود می‌آید و از عدم‌حساسیت خودش آگاه می‌شود، ترس بَرَش می‌دارد؛ ترسی اندوه‌بار و هایل؛ و درحالی‌که درد، حلقومش را می‌فشارد، فریاد می‌زند: «یعنی من دیگر وجود ندارم؟!» کدام هول‌انگیزتر است؟ این‌که فی‌المثل، آهنی گداخته تنت را سوراخ کند و دردی احساس کنی که از طاقت و توانت خارج باشد، یا با همان آهن گداخته تنت سوراخ شو ...more
First half of the book is one of the most lyrical meditations on death and God, but then in the second half he goes off the deep end. Didn't finish this book, got to be a bit too rich for my blood. Despite that, the first half merits a read if you are interested in the topics of death and/or God.
Dense thought and deep... spoke to me when I read it 20 years ago.
Bernardo Kaiser
Would be 5 stars if it didnt start making outrageous affirmations through the end, but I admire his poetic writing, his passion and his ideas on the perpetuation of the self, his views on love, on identity and on the insincerity of the philosophical idea of God instead of the God that we believe because we feel him and we have faith in him
Lukas Kain
Jun 03, 2008 Lukas Kain rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: arm-chair philosophers
Recommended to Lukas by: myself
Out of all the philosophy material I've read (which is honestly, very little), this one is definitely the best. Unamuno basically walks you through the basics of philosophy, touching on all the major minds that came before him in the field, while obviously giving his own insight into all kinds of life quandaries. Delicious.
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Miguel de Unamuno was born in the medieval centre of Bilbao, Basque Country, the son of Félix de Unamuno and Salomé Jugo. As a young man, he was interested in the Basque language, and competed for a teaching position in the Instituto de Bilbao, against Sabino Arana. The contest was finally won by the Basque scholar Resurrección María de Azcue.

Unamuno worked in all major genres: the essay, the nove
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“Man is said to be a reasoning animal. I do not know why he has not been defined as an affective or feeling animal. Perhaps that which differentiates him from other animals is feeling rather than reason. More often I have seen a cat reason than laugh or weep. Perhaps it weeps or laughs inwardly — but then perhaps, also inwardly, the crab resolves equations of the second degree.” 23 likes
“And usually [the philosopher] philosophizes either in order to resign himself to life, or to seek some finality in it, or to distract himself and forget his griefs, or for pastime and amusement.” 10 likes
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