By Irvin D. Yalom
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Extra info for The Spinoza Problem: A Novel
The eternal enemy. ” Surprised by Alfred’s vehemence, Headmaster Epstein and Herr Schäfer exchange concerned glances. Headmaster Epstein probes more deeply. “It appears you wish to avoid that question I asked. Let me try another line of discussion. ” Alfred nods. ” “Ah, yes, the fittest survive. ” “So, Rosenberg, let’s consider the fact that almost all of the peoples and cultures—dozens of them—described in the Bible have become extinct. ” Alfred nods. ” Alfred gulps: “Phoenicians, Moabites . .
Perhaps a story. But entering the museum, I was immediately disappointed. I doubted that this small, sparse museum could bring me closer to Spinoza. The only remotely personal items were the 151 volumes of Spinoza’s own library, and I turned immediately to them. My hosts permitted me free access, and I picked up one seventeenth-century book after another, smelling and holding them, thrilled to touch objects that had once been touched by Spinoza’s hands. But my reverie was soon interrupted by my host: “Of course, Dr.
The twenty-five-year-old Johannes Vermeer takes a final look at his new painting, The Procuress. He scans from right to left. First, the prostitute in a gloriously yellow jacket. Good. Good. The yellow gleams like polished sunlight. And the group of men surrounding her. Excellent—each could easily stroll off the canvas and begin a conversation. He bends closer to catch the tiny but piercing gaze of the leering young man with the foppish hat. Vermeer nods to his miniature self. Greatly pleased, he signs his name with a flourish in the lower right corner.