Developed in the 19th century by philosophers Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Existentialism is both a philosophical and literary movement that reached its peak in 20th-century France. Existentialists believe that there is no predetermined purpose at the heart of human existence, highlighting the importance of free will in creating meaning for oneself. This study guide collection includes landmark works, such as Existentialism is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sarte and Being and Time by Martin Heidegger, alongside Black Existentialist literary works by Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and W.E.B. Du Bois.

Publication year 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: ApathyTags Philosophy, Existentialism

Publication year 1899Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Lyric Poem, Existentialism, Realism

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: SiblingsTags Historical Fiction, Existentialism

Published in 2008, A Mercy is Toni Morrison’s ninth novel. Morrison, both a prolific scholar and author, centers the question of slavery and a pre-racial America in this fictional novel. A Mercy was chosen as one of the best books in the year of its release by the New York Times. Plot SummaryA Mercy endeavors to explore the experiences of slaves in early America. The narrative frequently changes focus between different characters who live or... Read A Mercy Summary

Publication year 1897Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Classic Fiction, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Depression / Suicide, Existentialism

In “An Outpost of Progress,” Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), a Ukrainian-born Polish-British novelist and short story writer, presents a disturbing psychological case study centered on the struggle between good and evil in the hearts and souls of two white traders dispatched to a remote corner of Africa to oversee a trading station along the Congo River. The story probes how easily the heart can lose its moral and ethical bearings amid the oppressive emptiness of the... Read An Outpost Of Progress Summary

Publication year 1943Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Philosophy, Existentialism, French Literature, Absurdism

Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenological Ontology (1943) by Jean-Paul Sartre is a foundational text for the philosophical movement of existentialism. Sartre, a 20th-century writer and philosopher, wrote Being and Nothingness while in a prisoner of war camp during World War II. Being and Nothingness addresses theories of consciousness, nothingness, self-identity, essences, and freedom. Sartre’s work builds upon a legacy of existentialist theories while defining and shaping them into a comprehensive ideology. He challenges... Read Being and Nothingness Summary

Publication year 1927Genre Book, NonfictionTags Existentialism

Being and Time (Sein und Zeit) is a philosophical text written by 20th-century German philosopher Martin Heidegger. In it, Heidegger attempts to address the fundamental question of the meaning of being. He does so through a systematic exploration of human existence and its structures. First published in 1927, Being and Time had a major impact on subsequent philosophy. A canonical text of both existentialism and phenomenology (although Heidegger would deny the association with the former)... Read Being And Time Summary

Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Magical Realism, Race / Racism, American Literature, Existentialism, African American Literature

Toni Morrison’s Beloved was published in 1987. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Inspired by the real-life story of a runaway African American enslaved woman named Margaret Garner, who killed her own daughter to prevent her capture and enslavement, Beloved tells the story of Sethe, a runaway enslaved woman who takes her daughter’s life in the same manner. This study guide, which addresses physical... Read Beloved Summary

Publication year 1952Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: RaceTags Sociology, Existentialism, Race / Racism, Afro-Caribbean Literature, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks is a psychological study of colonialism. According to Fanon, the encounter between white European colonizers and black slaves and their descendants creates a unique social and psychological situation with a characteristic set of psychopathologies. Black Skin, White Masks analyzes these psychopathologies, traces their roots in the colonial encounter, and suggests how healing might become possible.Fanon works within a broadly existentialist and phenomenological framework, his project is psychoanalytic, and he... Read Black Skin, White Masks Summary

Publication year 1944Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags French Literature, Philosophy, Play: Drama, Existentialism, Absurdism

Publication year 1946Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionTags Philosophy, Existentialism, French Literature

In “Existentialism is a Humanism” (1945), French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre attempts to convince an audience of philosophers and laypeople alike that his philosophy is neither pessimistic, nor relativist, nor quietist, nor subjectivist in the sense of presenting human beings as isolated individuals. He begins by elaborating Christians’ and Marxists’ criticisms of his ideas, then attempts to respond to each. In doing so, he focuses on the key formulation of existentialism, “existence precedes essence.” Then... Read Existentialism is a Humanism Summary

Publication year 1843Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Existentialism, Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality

Fear and Trembling is an 1843 Christian philosophical tract written by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and published under the pseudonym Johannes de Silentio (John of the Silence). The title refers to a passage from the Bible, which demands that “salvation” be worked out “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Most of Fear and Trembling focuses on the biblical story of Abraham, whom God told to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham’s actions (despite his fear... Read Fear And Trembling Summary

Publication year 1922Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Lyric Poem, Existentialism, Harlem Renaissance

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: MothersTags Existentialism

God Help the Child, the eleventh novel by critically-acclaimed writer Toni Morrison, was published in 2015. This guide is based on the 2015 Kindle book published by Borzoi Books, an Alfred A. Knopf imprint. One of Morrison’s few works with a contemporary setting and cast of characters, the novel explores themes related to the impact of racism and colorism on children, the prevalence of trauma such as child sexual abuse in the lives of children... Read God Help The Child Summary

Publication year 1965Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: RaceTags Black Arts Movement, Existentialism

Written by African-American author James Baldwin in 1965, this short story tells of the racial violence and strife between black and white Americans in a rural Southern town during the American Civil Rights Movement. The story's main character, Jesse, is a white sheriff's deputy. The story begins on the evening after Jesse and other police officers have arrested and brutally tortured a young black man protesting outside the courthouse.Jesse lays in bed with his wife... Read Going To Meet The Man Summary

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: MasculinityTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Japanese Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Technology, Existentialism, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionTags Existentialism

First published in 2012, Home, written by Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, tells the story of Frank Money, a 24-year-old black Korean War veteran who is summoned to Atlanta, Georgia, to rescue his sister, Cee. He receives a note that reads “‘Come fast. She be dead if you tarry’” (8) from an unknown woman. The main story of the novel begins with Frank’s escape from a hospital’s mental health ward. He was put in the ward... Read Home Summary

Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Race / Racism, Black Arts Movement, Existentialism

I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck is an accompanying text to the 2016 documentary of the same name, directed by Peck. The documentary was released to critical acclaim. It won Best Documentary award at the BAFTA Film Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The text is essentially a transcript of the film, incorporating excerpts of interviews, television features, and films.I Am Not Your Negro... Read I Am Not Your Negro Summary

Publication year 1923Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Community, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality, Relationships, Existentialism, German literature

I and Thou is a book of existentialist philosophy composed by Martin Buber. First published in 1923, the book explores the meaning of human relationships, and how relationships bring us ever closer to God. Critics consider the book to be one of the most significant philosophical texts of the 20th century. Buber was a writer and philosopher best known for his contributions to religious existentialism and the philosophy of dialogue. Before World War II, Buber... Read I and Thou Summary

Publication year 1974Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: MusicTags Classic Fiction, Black Arts Movement, Romance, Modern Classic Fiction, American Literature, Existentialism, African American Literature

If Beale Street Could Talk is a novel by James Baldwin (1924-1987), a critically acclaimed African American writer on matters of race and the African American experience. Originally published in 1974, the novel gained fresh attention with Barry Jenkins’ film adaptation in 2019. The novel is the love story of salesclerk Clementine “Tish” Rivers and budding sculptor Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt, African American natives of Harlem whose lives are derailed in the late 1960s to early... Read If Beale Street Could Talk Summary

Publication year 1952Genre Novel, FictionTags Music, Modern Classic Fiction, Existentialism, American Literature, African American Literature

Invisible Man was published in 1952 and written by African American author Ralph Ellison. It won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953, and Ellison was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1985 for his contributions to American literature. In addition to his fiction, he wrote essays and was a professor, teaching at several prestigious American universities including Yale University, Bard College, New York University, the University of Chicago, and Rutgers University. He... Read Invisible Man Summary

Publication year 1944Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Race / Racism, African American Literature, Existentialism

American author Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) wrote “King of the Bingo Game” in 1944. The short story was originally published in the New York literary journal Tomorrow in November 1944 and is widely considered a precursor to his classic novel Invisible Man (1953). Ellison was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and is considered one of the most important American authors of the 20th century. Invisible Man won a National Book Award in 1953, and... Read King of the Bingo Game Summary

Publication year 1940Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Existentialism, American Literature, African American Literature, Race / Racism

Richard’s Wright’s debut novel Native Son was an immediate success upon its publication in 1940, selling 250,000 copies in three weeks. Today, it is widely recognized as not only Wright’s greatest work, but as one of the most significant American novels of the twentieth century. In his essay “How ‘Bigger’ Was Born” (1940), Wright explains that he based the protagonist of the novel on five young Black men he had known as a child. These... Read Native Son Summary

Publication year 1938Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: Mental Health, Self DiscoveryTags Existentialism, Philosophy, French Literature, Classic Fiction

Nausea is a philosophical novel by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Originally published in 1938, the novel was first translated to English in 1949. Nausea takes place in the fictional French city of Bouville (“Mud Town”) and follows the day-to-day life of the reclusive historian Antoine Roquentin. Antoine lives completely alone, without friends or family, as he researches and writes a book on an 18th-century French aristocrat, the Marquis de Rollebon. Antoine’s daily interactions with... Read Nausea Summary

Publication year 1944Genre Play, FictionThemes Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Existentialism, Play: Drama, French Literature, Philosophy, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Relationships

No Exit (1944) is a play by French philosopher, writer, and critic Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre was drafted into the French army during World War II and spent nearly a year as a German prisoner of war. He then wrote and debuted No Exit in Paris while the city was still under German occupation and control. No Exit is comprised of one act which takes place in a single room in the afterlife, which the characters... Read No Exit Summary

Publication year 1955Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Sociology, Existentialism, Black Arts Movement, Black Lives Matter

Notes of a Native Son is a collection of nonfiction essays by James Baldwin. Baldwin originally published the essays individually in various literary and cultural commentary magazines between 1948 and 1955. The Beacon Press first republished the essays as Notes of a Native Son in 1955. This study guide refers to the 2012 Beacon Press edition of Notes of a Native Son. Citations to page numbers, however, come from the volume The Price of the... Read Notes of a Native Son Summary

Publication year 1997Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: The FutureTags Lyric Poem, Post-War Era, Existentialism

Publication year 1874Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: NationTags Philosophy, Existentialism

Written in 1874 as part of his second Untimely Meditation, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das Leben or On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, considers the proper functioning of history in service to human (and specifically German) life and culture.At the outset of his essay, Nietzsche distinguishes between advantageous and disadvantageous historical awareness. The “historical fever” in Germany at the time of writing is a disease in the... Read On The Advantage And Disadvantage Of History For Life Summary

Publication year 1994Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: AnimalsTags Existentialism

Publication year 1956Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Classic Fiction, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Existentialism

Pincher Martin is a novel by British author William Golding, first published in 1956. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a Royal Navy lieutenant named Christopher Hadley Martin who washes up on an inhospitable islet after his ship sinks. Though nominally a survival story, the book primarily concerns Martin’s spiritual and metaphysical journey as he struggles to maintain his sanity while awaiting rescue.This study guide refers to the 2013 edition published... Read Pincher Martin Summary

Publication year 1983Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Existentialism

Part 1Twyla and Roberta, the two main characters in Toni Morrison's short story, "Recitatif," meet at the Saint Bonaventure orphanage (St. Bonny's) as 8-year-old girls. When Twyla first arrives at the shelter and sees Roberta, who is another race (the reader is not told which girl is white and which girl is black), Twyla immediately tells the staff, "My mother won't like you putting me in here" (243). Twyla's mother has warned Twyla about people... Read Recitatif Summary

Publication year 1977Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Existentialism, American Literature

Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon was published in 1977. Since then, the novel has won many awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (1978). Morrison later won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel Beloved (1988) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1993). Song of Solomon, Morrison’s third novel, follows the life of Milkman Dead, who uncovers the truth (the “song”) about his family when he travels south to Virginia... Read Song of Solomon Summary

Publication year 1957Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: MusicTags Music, Existentialism, Black Arts Movement

“Sonny’s Blues” is a short story by author James Baldwin, which was published in the literary magazine Partisan Review in 1957. The story was later included in a 1965 collection of Baldwin’s stories, Going to Meet the Man. “Sonny’s Blues” describes the relationship between an unnamed narrator and his younger brother, Sonny. The story explores how the experience of growing up Black amid racism and poverty impacts a person’s psychology and relationships. This guide follows... Read Sonny's Blues Summary

Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags American Literature, Existentialism

The Bluest Eye is the first novel of Nobel-Prize winning writer Toni Morrison. It was published in 1970. Set in Lorain, Ohio in 1941, the novel traces how Pecola Breedlove, the dark-skinned daughter of a poor African American family, came to be pregnant with her father's child and lost her sanity after the baby died.Morrison prefaces the novel with a Foreword in which she explains several of her choices in writing the novel. The novel... Read The Bluest Eye Summary

Publication year 1947Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionTags Philosophy, Existentialism, French Literature

Published in 1948 in the wake of World War II, The Ethics of Ambiguity by French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) is a significant contribution to existentialist thought and outlines a practical system of ethics. Human freedom is of the utmost concern to the existentialist, and de Beauvoir argues that with human freedom comes ethical responsibility, countering those philosophers and skeptics who say that existentialism does not give practical guidance on how to live our... Read The Ethics Of Ambiguity Summary

Publication year 1908Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Existentialism

Publication year 1963Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionTags LGBTQ, Existentialism, African American Literature, Black Lives Matter, Creative Nonfiction

James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time (1963) comprises two autobiographical essays in which the author confronts the racial issues and tensions that he believes corrupt and deform American life and the American dream. Baldwin’s essays exemplify and precursor many of the elements and arguments central to the Civil Rights movement. Please note: Throughout the text, Baldwin uses the racial labels/language common at the time he was writing. This study guide, which uses the Vintage Reissue... Read The Fire Next Time Summary

Publication year 1866Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Classic Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Russian Literature, Existentialism

Publication year 1882Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Philosophy, Existentialism

The Gay Science is a book of poems and collection of 383 aphorisms in five sections that interrogates the origins of the history of knowledge. It celebrates philosophy as a medicine capable of renewing the intellect, and perceives of philosophy as inspiration for individual freedom, and thereby capable of renewing culture. First published in 1882, Nietzsche added a “Book Fifth” to The Gay Science five years later. In The Gay Science, Nietzsche declares God is... Read The Gay Science Summary

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionTags Existentialism

Walker Percy’s debut novel, The Moviegoer, was published in 1961 and won the 1962 National Book Award. The novel’s protagonist, Binx Bolling, is a young stockbroker living in a suburb of New Orleans. While struggling with the overwhelming ordinariness that characterizes his life, as well as the lives of most everyone he knows, Binx embarks on a search for meaning and authenticity against the chaos of Carnival and Mardi Gras. Over the course of a... Read The Moviegoer Summary

Publication year 1944Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Class, Society: Economics, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Philosophy, Existentialism, Business / Economics, Religion / Spirituality, Finance / Money / Wealth

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) wrote The Razor’s Edge in 1944. The novel’s title comes from a quotation translated from the Katha Upanishad, with the assistance of Christopher Isherwood: “Rise, wake up, seek the wise and realize. The path is difficult to cross like the sharpened edge of the razor." The story has been adapted for film twice, once in 1946 starring Tyrone Power and again in 1984 with Bill Murray. When World War I air... Read The Razor's Edge Summary

Publication year 1949Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Identity: Femininity, Identity: SexualityTags Gender / Feminism, Women's Studies (Nonfiction), Existentialism, Philosophy, Sociology

Publication year 1903Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags History: U.S., Existentialism, African American Literature, Black Lives Matter

Published in 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk is an important contribution to African-American literature, American literature, and sociology. A collection of 14 essays, the work is Du Bois’s description of the state of the South and African Americans’ lives at the turn of the 20th century. This guide is based on the Amazon Classics Kindle book edition.In “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” Du Bois describes the psychological struggles of African Americans as... Read The Souls of Black Folk Summary

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: RevengeTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Class, Existentialism, African Literature

The Thief and the Dogs is a 1961 surrealist, existentialist novel by Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz. Mahfouz won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature and The Thief and the Dogs is considered one of his most celebrated works. The novel has been adapted for Egyptian television, and is the first novel written in Arabic to use the stream-of-consciousness style. Published nearly ten years after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the novel is also considered an... Read The Thief and the Dogs Summary

Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Classic Fiction, Magical Realism, Philosophy, Existentialism

The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a novel by Czech author Milan Kundera. Written in 1982, it first appeared in print in its French translation in 1984. It was published in Czechoslovakia in 1986. The novel describes Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring, the 1968 Russian invasion, and its resulting “Normalizace” (Normalization) Period, a time of increased repression and persecution of Czech and Slovak intellectuals. At once a philosophical meditation on duality, an inquiry into the nature of... Read The Unbearable Lightness of Being Summary

Publication year 1962Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Identity: Masculinity, Natural World: AnimalsTags Classic Fiction, Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Japanese Literature, Existentialism

Kōbō Abe’s 1962 novel The Woman in the Dunes (Sand Woman in Japanese) is an existential story of an amateur entomologist who goes on holiday to a seaside village. He winds up trapped in a sand pit with a woman engaged in a never-ending battle with the sand that threatens to overwhelm the village. It won the 1962 Yomiuri Prize for literature and the 1967 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France’s Prize for the Best... Read The Woman in the Dunes Summary

Publication year 1961Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: ColonialismTags Race / Racism, Existentialism, Afro-Caribbean Literature, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, History: European

Wretched of the Earth (1961) is a nonfiction book by Frantz Fanon, a French West Indian psychiatrist and philosopher. Together with such texts as Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978), Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1988), and Homi Bhabha’s The Location of Culture (1994), The Wretched of the Earth is a founding text of modern postcolonial studies. It is also Frantz Fanon’s most internationally acclaimed book, translated into more than 25 languages.Written at the height of... Read The Wretched of the Earth Summary

Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Self DiscoveryTags Historical Fiction, Existentialism, Psychology, Philosophy, Modernism

When Nietzsche Wept is a 1992 novel written by Stanford University Professor of Psychology Irvin D. Yalom. Set in Vienna in 1882, the novel imagines a working relationship between the famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and the eminent physician Josef Breuer. Breuer believes that Nietzsche’s physical ailments have psychological causes, and he embarks on his newly invented “talking cure”—effectively a precursor to talk therapy and psychoanalysis. Eventually, through an agreement between the two men, it... Read When Nietzsche Wept Summary