Wilhelm Schmid

What We Gain as We Grow Older - On Gelassenheit

(German title: Gelassenheit)
ca. 118 pages
Wilhelm Schmid
Foto: Wilhelm Schmid
© Jürgen Bauer

Wilhelm Schmid, freelance philosopher, born in 1953, lives in Berlin and teaches Philosophy at the University of Erfurt. For many years, he taught as a visiting professor in Riga/Latvia and in Tiflis/Georgia and worked as a »philosophical counsellor« at a hospital near Zurich/Switzerland. He is a soughtafter guest speaker and has been giving lectures in China and South Korea since 2010. He was awarded the Meckatzer Prize for Philosophy in 2012 and the Egnér Prize in 2013. His works have been translated into 25 languages, his bestselling book Gelassenheit has sold over 600.000 copies.

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English world rights (Upper Westside Philosophers), Spanish world rights (Kairos), Catalan rights (Angle), Chinese complex rights (Emily Publishing Co.), Russia (Directmedia), Portuguese rights (Penguin Random House/Objectiva), France (Piranha), Italy (Fazi), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Denmark (Informations Forlag), Danish audio book rights (Lindhardt & Ringhof), Sweden (Lind & Co.), Norway (Gyldendal Norsk), Finland (Aula & Co.), Korea (Chaek Se Sang), Japan (Mikasa Shobo), Poland (W.A.B.), Czech Republic (Euromedia), Serbia (Laguna), Latvia (Zvaigzne), Slovenia (Narava), Turkey (Iletisim), Ukraine (Knihy XXI), India (Malayalam, Sahitya Pravarthaka), Israel (Modan)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV), German Book Club (Club Bertelsmann)

More than 600.000 copies sold!

January 2017: On the Spiegel Bestseller list for 148 consecutive weeks (#1 from June to September 2014)

On growing old in an age when everyone wants to be »forever young«

The Art of Ageing

With suggestions for how to find equanimity and meaning late in life


Bestselling author Wilhelm Schmid (Happiness) doesn’t want to praise or disparage growing older, but rather to develop a pragmatic art of dealing with it: on the one hand learning to pay attention to the joys that can accompany growing older, and on the other hand learning to cope with the pain that is unavoidable.

No amount of mental preparation for ageing can prepare you for what it really feels like to suddenly realise that you’re old. Stock phrases designed to minimise the impact are of limited help: »You’re only as old as you feel!« Sure, of course, but generally you’re older. The feeling doesn’t change the fact, on the contrary: it is merely an invitation to self-deception. Not all forms of deception are bad, but in this case the disappointment will only be greater once it becomes clear that such perky phrases are powerless in the face of reality. What would happen if we simply accepted growing older rather than fighting it?


Selected Foreign Editions


English edition released by Upper West Side Philosophers >>

Spanish edition released by Kairos >>

Catalan edition released by Angle >>

Italian edition released by Fazi >>

Dutch edition released by De Bezige Bij >>

Danish edition released by Informations Forlag >>


»Schmid’s counsel is wise and he does not avoid the difficult topics, particularly admirable when conversations around aging and death often remain taboo.« PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

»Schmid is like an oasis of quiet at an airport.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»A captivating breviary that makes you stop and think - not just for the elderly.« Urs Rauber, Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag

» … (Schmid) writes clearly and unambiguously, without ever seeming banal or repeatedly stating the obvious. Here, philosophy reclaims some original meaning ...« Thomas Gross, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»In the hectic market of consolation offers, this short work offers a pleasant moment of disarmament and invites us to reflect.« Denis Scheck, Der Tagesspiegel

»...open and honest, sometimes relentless.« Heinrich Lindenmayr, Augsburger Allgemeine Online

»The author is wise, he does not go into the usual cases of life counseling. This is in part due to his discipline, a philosophy that is less obliging to the standard discourses about aging and the young.« Franz Schuh, DIE ZEIT

»Schmid's book is ... an unobtrusive invitation to pause, which even younger readers can accept without embarrassment.« Arno Orzessek, rbb kulturradio

» A wonderfully intellectual, invigorating, reflective, indeed beautiful little book, which encourages reflection, introspection, and rumination. A text, not opulent and excessive, but pithy and concise, allowing the reader to think freely: very useful! Sometimes less can be more.« Heike Geilen, tabularasa-jena.de



Other publications

Selbstfreundschaft/Self-Acceptance (2018)

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France (Piranha), Turkey (Iletisim)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV)

Sexout/Sexout (2015)

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Italy (Fazi), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Turkey (Iletisim)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV)

Unglücklich sein/Unhappiness (2012)

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English world rights (Upper West Side Philosophers), Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos), Turkey (Iletisim)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Komplett Media)

Liebe/Love (2011)

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Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos), Denmark (Informations Forlag), Danish Audiobook Rights (Lindhardt & Ringhof), Latvia (Zvaigzne), Turkey (Iletisim)

Die Liebe neu erfinden/Re-inventing Love (2010)

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Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Translation Publishing House), Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos)

Glück/Happiness (2007)

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Spanish world rights (Pre-Textos), Chinese Simplex rights (Shanghai Translation Publishing), France (Autrement), Italy (Fazi), Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos), Denmark (Informations Forlag), Danish Audiobook Rights (Lindhardt & Ringhof), Sweden (Lind & Co.), Finland (Ajatus), Korea (Bookstory), Estonia (Olion), Latvia (Zvaigzne ABC)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hoffmann und Campe)

Schönes Leben?/Beautiful Life? (2005)

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Italy (Apogeo), Netherlands (Ambo|Anthos), Korea (Chaek Se Sang), Latvia (Zvaigzne), Georgia (Akolasia); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Serbia (Svetovi)

Die Kunst der Balance/The Art of Balance (2005)

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Italy (Fazi), Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos), Latvia (Zvaigzne Abc)

Mit sich selbst befreundet sein/To Be Friends With Ourselves (2004)

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Italy (Fazi), Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos)

Philosophie der Lebenskunst/Philosophie der Lebenskunst (1998)

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Spanish world rights (Pre-Textos), Italy (Fazi), Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos)