Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another's Misfortune

Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another's Misfortune

by Tiffany Watt Smith Author

An exploration of that emotion we all know, even if there's no word in English—the pleasure we feel at someone else's misfortune. The German word schadenfreude (from schaden damage, and freude, joy) has perplexed philosophers and psychologists for centuries. Why can it be so satisfying to witness another's distress? And what, if anything, should we do about it? This book invites readers to reflect on the guilt and furtive pleasures of this hidden emotion, and how we use other people's miseries to feel better about ourselves. Written in an exploratory, evocative form, it weaves examples from literature, philosophy, film, and music together with personal observation and historical and cultural analysis. In today's world of polarized politics, twitter trolls, and "sidebars of shame," it couldn't be timelier.

(This book may contain a small, black sharpie mark on the bottom edge, so that it can't be returned to a different wholesale.)