February 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.
On My Bookshelf by Tamsin Greig...
Frankl was an Austrian Jewish psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz. Written a few years after his liberation, it describes his experiences in the death camps in terms of his psycho-therapeutic technique of ‘logotherapy’ – man’s ‘will to meaning’. His premise is: if we are able to find meaning in the most hopeless of human experiences, then we can find meaning in any part of life. He proposes that man’s greatest freedom is that we can choose how we respond to any situation. I return to this book to remember the responsibility of response.
A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn't) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.
'This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. It changed my life and became a part of all that I live and all that I teach. It truly is a must-read book.' - Susan Jeffers, author of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway and Embracing Uncertainty
'A poignant testimony married to a profound confirmation. In Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl declares that evil and ennui cannot finally extinguish us. This deeply sensitive book stands as one of the primary building blocks of human consciousness. It is a hymn to the phoenix rising in each of us who choose life before flight.' - Brian Keenan, author of An Evil Cradling
'Viktor Frankl, who turned his experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz into the basis for a new school of psychotherapy, is one of the moral heroes of the 20th century. His insights into human freedom, dignity and the search for meaning are deeply humanising, and have the power to transform lives. His works are essential reading for those who seek to understand the human condition.' - Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks
Publication date: 06/05/2004
Publisher: Rider & Co an imprint of Ebury Press
|Publication date:||6th May 2004|
|Author:||Viktor E. Frankl|
|Publisher:||Rider & Co an imprint of Ebury Press|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, The Real World,|
Viktor Frankl was born in Vienna in 1905 and was Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. His wife, father, mother and brother all died in Nazi concentration camps, only he and his sister survived, but he never lost the qualities of compassion, loyalty, undaunted spirit and thirst for life (earning his pilot's licence aged 67). He died in Vienna in 1997.More About Viktor E. Frankl