Pietà (book)

Pietà is a collection of essays by the Hungarian-Swedish biologist, George Klein, first published in Sweden in 1989. It includes nine essays by Klein, several touching broadly on the theme of whether life is worth living. The introduction opens with a quote from Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus (1942): "There is but one truly philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy."[1]

Pieta by George Klein.JPG
AuthorGeorge Klein
TranslatorTheodore and Ingrid Friedmann (English translators)
Cover artistJean Wilcox
SubjectPhilosophy, poetry, biography
PublisherAlbert Bonniers Förlag AB, Stockholm
Publication date
Published in English
MIT Press, 1992
Pages297 (MIT Press paperback)
Preceded byThe Atheist and the Holy City 
Followed byLive Now 

After the introduction, the first essay, "Pista," is about the suicide of a cousin and childhood friend in Hungary. It is followed by essays on the poet Attila Jozsef; the power of poetry and literature, with discussions on Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, and Edgar Allan Poe; the role of German scientists during the Holocaust; an interview with Rudolf Vrba (the Auschwitz escapee); essays on AIDS and biological individuality; and reflections on Klein's own experience of the Holocaust in Budapest.[2]


  1. ^ George Klein, Pietà, MIT Press, 1992, 3.
  2. ^ Perricone, Christopher. "Book Review: George Klein, Pieta", The Journal of Value Inquiry, 31(3), 1997, 425–428.

Further readingEdit

  • Morowitz, H. J., Review of Pieta, The Quarterly Review of Biology, 68(4), 1993, 568–569. JSTOR 3037261