The Literary Kierkegaard
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Northwestern University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Portions of this book draw upon, albeit in altered and augmented forms, the following selections from my previously published Kierkegaard scholarship: “Kierkegaard’s Concept of the Aesthetic: A Semantic Leap from Baumgarten,” Journal of Literature and Theology 6 , no. 1...
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The title of this book harks back to these two self-reflective statements by Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813–1855), the first of which he made the year his initial published work From the Papers of One Still Living (1838) appeared, and the second, seventeen years later, only months...
Chapter One: From Clouds to Corsair: Kierkegaard, Aristophanes, and Socrates
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If Harold Bloom is correct to deem Plato’s contest with Homer “the central agon of Western literature,”1 Socrates’ banishment of the poets from the ideal city in Plato’s Republic was the inaugural blast in that ageless conflict. Yet surely the earlier satirizing of Socrates by Aristophanes in...
Chapter Two: The Pure Fool and the Knight of Faith: Wolfram’s Parzival and the Stages of Existence
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“How many books have I bought because of an odd inclination and left lying until—.” So wrote Kierkegaard in some undated notes of 1836 (Pap. I A 183 / JP 4:4389). According to Hermann Peter Rohde, Kierkegaard “was, by nature, something of a collector in the domain of books....
Chapter Three: From Romantic Aesthete to Christian Analogue: Don Quixote’s Sallies in Kierkegaard’s Authorship
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Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quijote de la Mancha, known in English as Don Quixote, was written in two parts that appeared successively in 1605 and 1615. Commonly regarded as the first modern Western novel,1 and “contain[ing] within itself all the novels that have followed in its...
Chapter Four: Saying Not Quite “Everything Just as It Is”: Shakespeare on Life’s Way
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Since the first decade of the twentieth century, when the Danish philosopher Harald Høffding (1843–1931) characterized him as a “descendant” of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the Scottish theologian Peter Taylor Forsyth (1848–1921) called him “the great and melancholy Dane in whom...
Chapter Five: “Sorrow’s Changeling”: Irony, Humor, and Laughter in Kierkegaard and Carlyle
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The historian, essayist, and “man of letters” Thomas Carlyle (1795– 1881) may seem an unlikely figure with whom to compare Kierkegaard, who is usually pigeonholed as a philosopher or theologian. Although they shared deep connections with the German literary and philosophical...
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It bespeaks the limitless complexity of the literary Kierkegaard that salient features of his and his pseudonyms’ aesthetic, ethical, and religious thinking, and of their irony and humor, are evoked by such varied characters as Aristophanes’ Socrates, Wolfram’s Parzival, Cervantes’s Don...
Appendix One: Kierkegaard and Dante
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Although Hegel pronounced the Commedia “the artist epic proper [das eigentliche Kunstepos] of the Catholic Christian Middle Ages, the greatest poem and the one with the greatest material” (HW 10, pt. 3, pp. 408–9 / A 2:1103), and although Dante figured prominently in aesthetic...
Appendix Two: Kierkegaard, Carlyle, and Silence
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Aside from Kierkegaard himself, one of the most famous advocates of silence in Kierkegaard’s time was Thomas Carlyle, despite his being by his own admission an inveterately loquacious man.1 As one witticism has it, Carlyle considered silence to be golden and demonstrated the...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 448
Publication Year: 2011
Volume Title: 1