Got any favorite books that will help me to feel more content with my life? (Nihilism please, I'm new hear and love what you've had to say!)
Hi dear user.
This is one of the many question I’ve received these past two weeks asking me about my recommended books. I was late to reply because I wanted to make a comprehensive list.
This list will only include those books I’ve read so I can vouch for the content. I’m sure many great studies, essays, theses and novels will be missing so please, dear users, comment your favorite books that should be in this list.
I’ll structure the list by genres, from hard philosophy, to axioms and meditations, novels and finally not necessarily Nihilist but related works that either inspired or extended Nihilism or took it to interesting ways.
- Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals and Gay Science (cliche, but Nietzsche’s work is crucial never the less)
- Donald Crosby - The experience of the absurd (maybe the most thoughtful meditation, at least modern, on historical nihilism)
- Ray Brassier - Nihil Unbound (A marvelous study of the new roles of nihilism in our culture. Maybe the smartest work on the subject to date)
- Michael Novak - The experience of nothingness (A milder study of “almost” modern nihilism. But very clear)
- Eugene Thaker - On the dust of this planet (A great examination of Nihilism using many cultural references, from pop culture to art and theology)
Important novels with nihilistic themes or related to nihilism:
- Michel Houellebecq - Extension of the battlefield (I think the American title for this was “Whatever”. Horrible title. The original French one is more adequate. One of my favorite novels)
- Albert Camus - The Outsider (The seminal absurdist novel. I’ve always argued that absurdism feels more parallel to nihilism than existentialism)
- Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse 5 (A semi-autobiography. Vonnegut uses the war to meditates on human condition. A great and depressing read)
- Chuck Palahniuk - anything from his first 5 or 6 books.
- Charles Bukowski, although he is way more optimistic than you would think. One of the poets I enjoy the most.
- Emil Cioran, The inconvenience of being born, At the heights of despair, The temptation to exists… actually, anything by Cioran. My favorite thinker.
Non-nihilist but related philosophy works:
- Martin Heidegger - Being and time (Heidegger might very well be the last GREAT philosopher. How he deconstruct identity and how he contemplates the question of what it means to be a being it’s maybe the last true breakthrough in philosophy. His mind was out of this existence)
- Jean Paul Sartre - Being and nothingness (A continuation of Heidegger. I’m not a big Sartre proponent. To me he was more popular than brilliant, but he did author some essential reads)
- The gift of death - Jaques Derrida (An examination of how death conforms our identity. Not really nihilistic but traces many parallels to it)
EDIT: An unforgivable omission: Anything by Diogenes of Sinope. Sorry dear users.
I hope you all find this list useful, dear users.