Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography

897 Pages · 2013 · 21.41 MB · English

  • Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography

















    p. cm.




    B4376.G28 2005


    [B] 2004044525









    3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 CONTENTS

    Maps xiii

    Preface xvii

    Foreword to the English-Language Edition xxiii

    Translator’s Preface and Acknowledgments xxv

    Note to the Paperback Edition xxvi

    Part One


    The Little Fork 7

    Warping 12

    Søren Sock 17

    Two Weddings and a Fire 22

    Studiosus Severinus 26

    Alma Mater 29

    Underground Copenhagen 32

    The Black Sheep 37


    The Still Voices of the Dead 47

    The Summer of 1835 in Gilleleje 50

    “To Find the Idea for Which I Am Willing to Live and Die” 56


    “A Somersault into the Siberia of Freedom of the Press” 60

    Within the Heibergs’ Charmed Circle 67

    Studiosus Faustus 74

    The Battle between the Old and the New Soap-Cellars 80

    v Poul Martin Møller 86

    “Sketches of Moral Nature”—Affectation and Self-Deception 89

    “Backstage Practice” 95


    Storm and Stress? 102

    Maria 111

    Bringing Gloom to Rented Rooms 115

    “Dear Emil!! You, My Friend, the Only One” 118

    Reading Binge 122


    “There Is an Indescribable Joy” 126

    Death of a Merchant 128

    “The Great Earthquake” 131

    From the Papers of One Still Living 138


    The Rich Young Man 147

    The Translator 150

    “My Reading for the Examinations Is the Longest Parenthesis” 152

    A Dandy on a Pilgrimage 154

    Part Two


    Regine—in Memoriam 173

    Miss O. 175

    From the Papers of One Already Dead 178

    The Time of Terrors 185

    “She Chooses the Shriek, I Choose the Pain” 190


    On the Concept of Irony 192


    Stark Naked in Berlin 199

    vi {Contents} “The Aesthetic Is Above All My Element” 204

    The Incidental Tourist 206


    Either/Or 214

    “A Monster of a Book” 218

    Literary Exile 224

    Spiritual Eroticism 226

    Regine’s Nod 228

    Berlin Again 229

    Repetition 232

    “Long Live the Post Horn!” 236

    To Become Oneself Again Is to Become Someone Else 239

    Reality Intervenes 243

    1:50 247

    The Retracted Text 248

    Fear and Trembling 252

    Abraham and the Knife: Agnete and Farinelli 258

    “A Crevice through Which the Infinite Peeped Out” 261


    The Concept of Anxiety 266

    Captivating Anxiety—Pages from a Seducer’s Textbook 270

    The Seduction’s Diary 277

    Oh, to Write a Preface 281

    Reviews 284

    Israel Levin 288

    “Come Over and See Me for a Bit” 292

    To Have Faith Is Always to Expect the Joyous,

    the Happy, the Good 295


    “Big Enough to Be a Major City” 301

    “I Came Close to Dancing with Them” 305

    “People Bath” 308

    “Yes, of Course, I Am an Aristocrat—” 316

    “I Think Grundtvig Is Nonsense” 318

    Kierkegaard in Church 325

    “People Think I’m a Hack Writer” 332

    {Contents} vii Stages on Life’s Way 337

    The Inserted Passages 340

    Writing Samples 353

    Exit Heiberg 357

    Postscript: Kierkegaard 361

    Part Three


    Victor Eremita’s Admirers 375

    The Corsair—“A Devil of a Paper” 376

    Comic Composition and Goldschmidt’s Flashy Jacket 379

    “I Am a Jew. What Am I Doing among You?” 382

    Malice in a Macintosh: Peder Ludvig Møller 386

    “A Visit to Sorø” 390

    “Would Only That I Might Soon Appear in The Corsair” 393

    The Corsair’s Salvo 395

    Møller’s Postscript to Kierkegaard’s Postscript 402

    Admiration and Envy: When One Word Leads to Another 405

    The Squint-Eyed Hunchback 408

    The Great Reversal 411

    “The School of Abuse” 414

    The Neighbors across the Way 418

    “S. Kjerkegaard and His Reviewers” 422

    “This Sweat-Soaked, Stifling Cloak of Mush That Is the Body” 428

    The Bull of Phalaris 431

    “What Does the Physician Really Know?” 434

    “For I Have Loved My Melancholia” 437

    Adolph Peter Adler 440

    The Book on Adler 444

    “Confusion-Making of the Highest Order” 446

    Saint Paul and Carpetmaker Hansen 448

    Exaltation: 7–14–21; 7–14–21; 7–14–21 450

    “The Sensual Pleasure of Productivity” 452

    Graphomania 457

    Rad. Valerianæ 460


    “Perhaps You Would Also Like Me to Listen to

    Your Brain Beating?” 463

    viii {Contents} The Press: “The Government’s Filth Machine” 471

    To Travel Is to Write—and Vice Versa 474

    “The Air Bath” 476

    Either and Or 479

    Regine Schlegel 484

    “A People’s Government Is the True Image of Hell” 486

    “This Is the Idea of the Religious” 490

    “100,000 Rumbling Nonhumans” 492

    “Perhaps the Alarm Will Be Sounded in the Camp

    and I Will Be the Manhandled Victim” 495

    “You Are Expecting a Tyrant, While I Am Expecting a Martyr” 498

    God Hates Pyramids 500

    Liberty, Equality, and Mercy 502

    From the Financial Papers of One Still Living 505

    Money in Books 508

    “Year after Year, at My Own Expense” 513

    Part Four


    Extravagance in the Service of the Idea 531

    “Copenhagen Is a Very Filthy Town” 535

    The Sickness unto Death 540

    “To Poetize God into Something a Bit Different” 542

    “The Poetry of Eternity” 545

    To Publish or Not to Publish 548

    The Point of View for My Work as an Author 550

    “What Hasn’t This Pen Been Capable of. . . ?” 554

    “But Then, of Course, I Cannot Say ‘I’” 556

    In Charge of His Own Posthumous Reputation 562

    “My Father Died—Then I Got Another Father in His Place” 565

    “I Am Regarded as a Kind of Englishman, a Half-Mad Eccentric” 569


    Dedications and a Rebuff 574

    Martensen’s Dogmatics 576

    A Sunday in the Athenæum 580

    Rasmus Nielsen 582

    Fredrika Bremer’s Report Card 589

    Kierkegaard’s Dream 593

    {Contents} ix

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