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Posts tagged "Ernest Becker"

Architects, Madmen and Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death

Freud, Kierkegaard, and the drug lord Heisenberg…A free peek into the Love & Death Issue, which people continue to tell us is their favorite issue thus far. Here is Ethan’s piece on the classic, Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death. If you subscribe to the magazine, and add the code JESSEPINKMAN in the notes section […]

Another Week Ends: Immortality, Elixirs of Life, False Prophets, Fear of Death, Sensitive Readers and Humble Corporations, and Stranger Things

1. Lots of people talking about immortality this week! Wonder why that’s happening! First off, in a pretty blatant promotion of our Food & Drink Issue, The Atlantic published a lengthy piece on the denial of death in the world of nutrition and diet. I mean, the article gets pretty close to a lot of what […]

The Life, Death, Life Cycle

We are now up to our necks in Advent, two candles burning. We’ve got lights on the tree and parties dead ahead. It’s a season of waiting, as we know, but with leafless trees and dry skin, it’s also a season of dying. We know firsthand there has to be death before life, some struggle […]

The Alien Work of Dr. House

We love to talk about Ernest Becker’s book, The Denial of Death. In it, he argues that the most fundamental drive we have—going beyond Freud—is that of our fear of death. In reaction, we invest all sorts of things with importance in order to convince (trick?) ourselves that our lives are actually meaningful. As with […]

Superhero Undergraduates and the Culture of Overachievement

From a rather frightening article in the recent Harvard Alumni Magazine entitled “Nonstop: Today’s Undergraduates Do 3,000 Things At 150 Percent”. We talk a lot on this site about the perils/realities of achievement-based identity (justification by works), yet after reading this article, one honestly wonders how much further we as Americans can take it. While […]

Annie Hall, Normal Neuroses, and the Mainspring of Human Activity

The recent posts about Woody Allen and Lucian Freud reminded me of a scene in Annie Hall where, shortly after explaining that “I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable,” Alvy recommends Ernest Becker’s book The Denial of Death to Annie. Written in 1973, it is Becker’s evaluation of human psychology […]