‘It made me rethink the roots of our deepest fears and insecurities, and why we often disappoint ourselves in how we manifest them’ Bill Clinton, Guardian
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.
The book argues that human civilisation is a defence against the knowledge that we are mortal beings. Becker states that humans live in both the physical world and a symbolic world of meaning, which is where our ‘immortality project’ resides. We create in order to become immortal – to become part of something we believe will last forever. In this way we hope to give our lives meaning.
In The Denial of Death, Becker sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates decades after it was written.
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