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When Nietzsche Wept

Josef Breuer, renowned physician, is on vacation in Venice when he receives an impertinent note from a Lou Salome. In the note, the woman requests that he meet her at a café they following morning at nine o'clock. His first inclination is to ignore the demanding note, but he is intrigued and goes to the café in the morning to meet her. Lou Salome is a striking young woman. Not only is she very beautiful, but she carries herself with great confidence.

When Nietzsche Wept

The story begins in 1882, when Friedrich Nietzsche's beautiful and mysterious former lover convinces the famous Viennese physician and mentor to Sigmund Freud, Joseph Breuer, to cure Nietzsche of his "despair" so that the world will not be deprived of the "most important philosopher of the next 100 years." Breuer is known throughout Europe for his use of hypnosis and the "talking treatment" that have been successful in the treatment of hysteria.

This is a superbly written novel that reads like a very good mystery. It probes the question of what constitutes healing, and provides an important example of the complex dynamic between patient and doctor, when both are healed by the fact of their encounter.

In nineteenth-century Vienna, a drama of love, fate, and will is played out amid the intellectual ferment that defined the era. Josef Breuer, one of the founding fathers of psychoanalysis, is at the height of his career. Friedrich Nietzsche, Europe's greatest philosopher, is on the brink of suicidal despair, unable to find a cure for the headaches and other ailments that plague him. When he agrees to treat Nietzsche with his experimental "talking cure," Breuer never expects that he too will find solace in their sessions. Only through facing his own inner demons can the gifted healer begin to help his patient. In When Nietzsche Wept, Irvin Yalom blends fact and fiction, atmosphere and suspense, to unfold an unforgettable story about the redemptive power of friendship. What people are saying - Write a reviewUser ratings5 stars44 stars53 stars32 stars11 star1Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identifiedLibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Cuchulainn - LibraryThingI was a bit torn about this one. I loved the content, but I thought the proze was a bit flat. Nevertheless, good read, and I will probably pick up some other books by him. Read full review

The novel, first published by Basic Books in 1992, sets up a fictional encounter between 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and Josef Breuer, a Viennese doctor who is one of the founders of psychoanalysis. The story takes place in 1882, when Breuer decided to help Nietzsche fight his hemicrania and despair.

Nietzsche does come to Vienna to consult with Breuer for his medical problems but would leave again without even touching upon his psychological ones. Indeed he has already said his farewells when he suffers a serious migraine attack and Breuer is called to care for him. Barely conscious, in a room stinking of vomit and sweat, Nietzsche cries out to Breuer for help. And Breuer responds to this "other Nietzsche," the one in whom he recognizes young Freud's homunculus of the unconscious. He promises to help. But now he is faced with a seemingly impossible task: to trick the conscious Nietzsche, who asks for and accepts no help at all, into entering a therapeutic relationship. At the eleventh hour a solution comes: Breuer will exchange his physical doctoring for Nietzsche's applied philosophy in trying to solve his own emotional and psychological problems. Nietzsche accepts, taking his role most seriously. Breuer soon finds the truth beneath his invention and wades deep into the waters of transference. 041b061a72


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