Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Mind-Body Problem (Contemporary American Fiction) Paperback – March 1, 1993
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
"The Mind-Body Problem" is in fact written by a philosopher, and really is not about mathematics. It is about an intelligent young lady, Renee Feuer, who marries a world-renown mathematician, Noam Himmel, out of her insecurity: "...In short I was floundering [at Princeton as a grad student], and thus quite prepared to follow the venerably old feminine tradition of being saved by marriage. And, given the nature of my distress, no one could better play the part of my rescuing hero than the great Noam Himmel. For the man had an extravagance of what I was so agonizingly feeling the lack of: objective proof of one's own intellectual merit." Renee, born into an orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey, is self-acknowledging beautiful, and perhaps can be best characterized in her own words: "I had always thought of intelligence as power, the supreme power. Understanding is not the means of mastery, but the end itself (Spinoza)...I am only attracted to men who I believe to be more intelligent than I am. A detected mistake in logic considerably cools my desire. They can be shorter, they can be weaker, they can be poorer, they can be meaner, but they must be smarter. For the smart are the masters in my mattering region. And if you gain power over them, then through the transivity of power you too are powerful.Read more ›
While not struggling with the drabness of Linguistics Renee flounders with her own identity. Is she bright for a pretty girl? or merely nice-looking for such a clever girl? would either quality stand alone?
To further complicate her identity questions she marries a bumbling mathematical genius (think Paul Erdos): "I'm often asked what it's like to be married to a genius. The question used to please me -- as an affirmation of my place, of my counting for something (if only through marriage) in the only world that counted for anything. But even back then [. . .] I was uncertain how to answer. "wife of genius" does not in itself define a distinct personality. The description, and my own fluid nature left me the burden of choice. And I found it hard to choose. I could never even decide how I should arrange my face when I answered. Should I radiate the faintly dazed glow of one who stands within sweating distance of the raging fires of creativity? Or should my features exhibit the sharp practicality of managing the mundane affairs of an intellectual demigod?Read more ›
"To me the process is still mysterious. I had just come through a very emotional time, having not only become a mother but having also lost my father, whom I adored. In the course of grieving for my father and glorifying my daughter, I found that the very formal, very precise questions I had been trained to analyze weren't gripping me the way they once had. Suddenly, I was asking the most 'unprofessional' sorts of questions...such as how does all this philosophy I've studied help me to deal with the brute contingencies of life?...I wanted to confront such questions in my writing, and I wanted to confront them in a way that would insert 'real life' intimately into the intellectual struggle."
THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM engagingly weaves the tortured choice out of Plato's cave, the tangled skein of Leibnitzian monadology (the novel's antagonist is a card-carrying Platonist and Fields Medal mathematician), Cartesian dualism (the novel's heroine is aptly named Renee) and Shroedinger's positivism (What, after all, is life?), into the bits and pieces of everyday perception, belied by its uncommonplace ivy-walled setting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To be married to a self involved genius, and the loneliness of it, put into intellectual terms. Does mind rule body or body mind? Read morePublished 18 days ago by Kindle Customer. crumpy
Although a promising fictional setup, the book lacked enough "meat". When Nietzsche Wept was masterfully executed in comparison. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sadok Kohen
Rebecca Goldstein is brillant in ways I don't understand, but in all the other ways I do relate to being a woman in love with men for different reasons. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Marlea
Excellent book on many levels as she fictionally plays with so many aspects of mind vs. body. Great characters, well plotted, fascinating asides, and a nice dose of philosophy... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bryan
This is a very funny book, to be well appreciated by any absent-minded academic or the spouse of an absent-minded academic.Published 7 months ago by Michael Beeson
Starts a bit slowly and with perhaps a few too many clichés about Jews in America and academe. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Luca turin
Excellent novel. One of the best I've read in a long time.Published 8 months ago by Edwin T. Rywalt