A review by bittersweet_symphony
When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin D. Yalom


Yalom continues a wonderful traditional, blending narrative and existential philosophy, to drive home a wonderful contribution to psychotherapy. En vogue psychology and neuroscience just don't have the same heart and concrete application to emotional life as the humanistic psychology tradition. It's a shame we don't have more people like Yalom (Alain de Botton is one who comes to mind although he takes a broader approach which draws from the humanities).

When Nietzche Wept seems very well researched by Yalom, making the conversations and characters very believable. What a time it would have been to live in the German-speaking world during the late 19th century, brushing shoulders with Freud, Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, Nietzsche, and Wagner! This book is a great introduction to the beginnings of psychoanalysis and existentialism. Yalom is a great storyteller. The twist at the end is impactful. Its full of lessons on friendship. Even the most solitary creatures need others. Even the greatest thinkers and artists need time beyond their own minds--especially if you are a self-proclaimed secular prophet for a sickened society, such as Nietzsche.

Yalom has written a great example of a teaching novel.