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Tragic Sense of Life [Hardcover]

Miguel De Unamuno
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Dec 2007
This is the masterpiece of Miguel de Unamuno, a member of the group of Spanish intellectuals and philosophers known as the "Generation of '98," and a writer whose work dramatically influenced a wide range of 20th-century literature. His down-to-earth demeanor and no-nonsense outlook makes this 1921 book a favorite of intellectuals to this day, a practical, sensible discussion of the war between faith and reason that consumed the twentieth century and continues to rage in the twenty-first century. de Unamuno's philosophy is not the stuff of a rarefied realm but an integral part of fleshly, sensual life, metaphysics that speaks to daily living and the real world. Spanish philosopher MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO (1864-1936) was a prolific writer of essays, novels, poetry, and the stage plays. His books include Peace in War (1895), The Life of Don Quixote and Sancho (1905), and Abel Sánchez (1917).

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (30 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602069972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602069978
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,479,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (29 September 1864, Bilbao, Biscay, Basque Country, Spain – 31 December 1936, Salamanca, Salamanca, Castile and León, Spain) was a Spanish essayist, novelist, poet, playwright and philosopher. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provoking 10 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read this book I believe that if I read it another ten times I would not fully understand it. At times I thought I may be wasting my time but I could not leave it alone. It has certainly made me think and more importantly moved me on. As a result I can only conclude that it is a great book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tilting at windmills 16 July 2011
By gille liath TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a paradoxical book, attempting a rational critique of rationalism, particularly its application to theology. And it is an exciting one because, though written a century ago, its time has dramatically come.

Unamuno takes as the key fact of human life, the desire not to die. Christianity, he says, was the thing that offered to appease the `hunger of immortality'. But it unwisely recruited the support of reason, creating scholastic theology - which, however, is not true rationality, because, `for reason, truth is that of which it can be proved that it exists, whether it console us or not'. Catholic theology assumes the answer in advance, and only seeks to refine it. Protestantism, meanwhile, offers only `a vague aesthetic, ethical or cultured religiosity'. And yet modern scientific rationalists are no better. In a remarkably prescient passage he depicts today's neo-atheists - people who, like the scholastics, abuse reason by thinking they know the answer in advance; who `are not content with not believing that there is another life, or rather, believing that there is none, but are vexed and hurt that others should believe in it'. Although actually, the neo-atheists are worse still, because they pretend that they do keep an open mind.

Having diagnosed the problem with startling originality, Unamumo is less sure-footed in dealing with it. He claims that each chapter - or `essay' - was sent to the printers as it was written, and that he didn't have the earlier ones to refer to. That partly explains why the book becomes so contradictory, rambling and repetitious as it goes on, faults which he acknowledges but is perhaps not sufficiently concerned about. However, I'm not sure the central argument is even meant to be very clear.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars understandable philosophy 25 April 1997
By A Customer
This book will answer your questions about the significance of life if there are answers.

Some examples of his ideas:
Belief in UFOs and a divinity are similar to the extent that there is another consciousness out there. Beware of believing in something that we all so desperately want to believe!

Infinity and finiteness are both absurd notions if you ponder them a bit- if the Universe is infinite then how did it start. If it is finite then what happened just before if started? Our brains are simply limited.

Fascinating stuff about the relationship between love and death! If you read one more book before you die- let it be this one.
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