Cheryl's Reviews > Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
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Jan 03, 14

bookshelves: philosophy, holocaust-wwii, memoir, psychology
Read from January 01 to 02, 2014

It seems to me that we are adrift and searching until we clarify for ourselves why we are alive. Until then, there is anxiety which may balloon into cynicism if an anchor is not found during especially difficult times. Religion, philosophy and psychology offer solutions through ancient texts and current reseach analysis. But there is another truth-telling for the curious mind; it is memoir, and none so profound as from a survivor of the Holocaust.

Once a personal meaning is clarified, we may want appreciation for our sacrifices, grief, disease or infirmity. This may be an even more challenging quest, but it is essential to transcend the overwhelming negative feelings brought on by the experience.

Dr. Frankl's mid-twentieth century account of his years under horrific circumstances provides readers with a prototype of how to remain human while facing death and incredible loss...and even to appreciate the experience. This is wisdom beyond measure, a sacred text written for searchers of life's most profound questions.

HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
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Quotes Cheryl Liked

Viktor E. Frankl
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Viktor E. Frankl
“Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning


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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Dolors (new) - added it

Dolors I already had this novel on my radar and your review just made me add it to my to-read list. Very much appreciated, thank you for reminding me of it, Cheryl.


Cheryl Dolors wrote: "I already had this novel on my radar and your review just made me add it to my to-read list. Very much appreciated, thank you for reminding me of it, Cheryl."

You're most welcome, Dolors. So much wisdom elegantly written in so few pages. Hope you will benefit as much as I have.


message 3: by Margitte (new)

Margitte I can just imagine what a stir this book must have created in the era shortly after the Second World War.
Another classic of the Holocaust genre that will inspire forever, it seems.


message 4: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 03, 2014 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cheryl I wonder too Margitte what the impact it might have had after the end of hostilities. The publication I read noted that 12 million copies are read world-wide in the 21 century. The burden of relating the horror rested on the shoulders of Jewish surviors who had the courage to look it in the face, ask the hard questions, and report the wisdom observed. We are fortunate for it...


Ellie Cheryl, I also think it's one of the great 20th century books and an act of great courage.


Cheryl I so agree with you, Ellie. I think it is a classic that will be read for many decades if not centuries. Most of us would not consider revisiting such horror. But Frankl is one of the most fully aware men I know of.


Arnie I've probably read better books, including better Holocaust related books, but, for reasons I've probably alluded to before and would rather not get into now, this one dwarfes their importance to me.


Cheryl Could your preference for this Holocaust book have to do with the fact that it is a memoir? There's no intellectual distance between the events and the author (and therefore the reader). The reaction, then, is immediate and inescapable. No scholarly text is so intimate.


message 9: by Arnie (last edited Jan 05, 2014 11:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Arnie Actually, I've read several books by survivors about their experiences about their war time experiences and collections of their accounts, seen many survivors talk about them, watched tapes made for the Spielberg project etc., but there was something unique about this one.


message 10: by Lise (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lise Petrauskas I just read this in November. I agree with both you and Ellie, Cheryl. It's one of the great books.


Cheryl Arnie wrote: "Actually, I've read several books by survivors about their experiences about their war time experiences and collections of their accounts, seen many survivors talk about them, watched tapes made fo..."

You reminded me of the Shoah project, Arnie. Thanks for bringing back to my attention one of the most effective ways for survivors to leave their witness for all of us. There is something about hearing of the horror and looking into the face of someone who has physically put the experience behind them. Hitler died at age 57; most of these surviors have long outlived the man who would do away with them.


Cheryl Lise wrote: "I just read this in November. I agree with both you and Ellie, Cheryl. It's one of the great books."

So this is a recent experience for you too, Lise. I am glad you set this memoir apart from others. I'm not sure I'll read anything about the period that has such an impact. Thanks for your comment.


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