By Walter Lowrie
A small, insignificant-looking highbrow with absurdly lengthy legs, Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) used to be a veritable Hans Christian Andersen comic strip of a guy. an odd blend of witty cosmopolite and depression introvert, he spent years writing below a chain of fantastical pseudonyms, lavishing all of the elegance of his extraordinary brain on a seldom-appreciative global. He had a sad love affair with a tender lady, was once ruled via an unforgettable previous testomony father, fought a sensational literary duel with a favored satiric journal, and died in the course of a violent quarrel with the nation church for which he had as soon as studied theology. but this iconoclast produced a few extraordinary books that experience profoundly prompted sleek thought.
during this vintage biography, the prestigious Kierkegaard translator Walter Lowrie offers a captivating and warmly appreciative creation to the existence and paintings of the good Danish author. Lowrie tells the tale of Kierkegaard's emotionally turbulent lifestyles with a prepared experience of drama and an acute figuring out of ways his existence formed his concept. the result's a superbly informative and exciting portrait of 1 of an important thinkers of the prior centuries. This version additionally contains Lowrie's wry essay "How Kierkegaard acquired into English," which tells the unbelievable tale of the way Lowrie turned one in every of Kierkegaard's vital English translators regardless of no longer studying Danish till he was once in his 60s, in addition to a brand new advent by means of Kierkegaard pupil Alastair Hannay.
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Extra resources for A short life of Kierkegaard
Has maliciously provided many a puzzle for his biographers. He boasted of possessing as a psychological observer precisely the talents needed by a police detective, and so careful he was to cover his own tracks that he was assured no one would be able to discover his secret. ” In the main these puzzlers, especially P. A. Heiberg and Frithiof Brandt, have been highly successful. ’s deepest secret, and because of the com mon misapprehension of its significance this clue has not been followed up fruitfully.
In Fear and Trembling the pseudonymous author, Johan nes de silentio, quotes from Seneca a saying which he in turn derived from Aristotle: mdlum unquam exstetit magnum ingenium sine aliqua dementia (there never was great genius without some madness). Then he goes on to say: “For this dementia is the suffering allotted to genius in existence, it is the expression if I may say so, of the divine jealousy, whereas the gift of genius is the expression of the 27 Background divine favor. So from the Start the genius is disoriented in relation to the universal and is brought into relation with the paradox—whether it be that in despair at his limitation (which in his eyes transforms his omnipotence into impotence) he seeks a demoniacal reassurance and therefore will not admit such limitation either before God or men, or eise he reassures himself religiously by love to the Deity.
S early life resolved to leave this document en tirely out of account, feeling that as it was then interpreted it afforded no secure foundation. But when from the Journal alone he had reached solid conclusions he saw how this docu ment ought to be understood, that is, in what order it ought to be read; and he perceived that it afforded a short cut to the conclusions he had reached by a more laborious path. In my bigger biography I required the reader to follow the more laborious path; in this small book I must take the short cut, and to justify it I must require the reader to give attention for a moment to this laborious disquisition.