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Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography

897 Pages · 2013 · 21.41 MB · English

  • Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography

    FirstpublishedinDenmarkunderthetitle


    SAK.SørenAabyeKierkegaard,EnbiografibyJoakimGarff


    Copyright©2000byG.E.C.GadsForlag.Aktieselskabetaf1994,Copenhagen


    PublishedbyagreementwithLeonhardt&HøierLiteraryAgency,Copenhagen


    Englishtranslationcopyright©2005byPrincetonUniversityPress


    PublishedbyPrincetonUniversityPress,41WilliamStreet,Princeton,NewJersey08540


    IntheUnitedKingdom:PrincetonUniversityPress,3MarketPlace,Woodstock,


    OxfordshireOX201SY


    AllRightsReserved


    Thirdprinting,andfirstpaperbackprinting,2007


    PaperbackISBN-13:978-0-691-12788-0


    PaperbackISBN-10:0-691-12788-3


    TheLibraryofCongresshascatalogedtheclotheditionofthisbookasfollows


    Garff,Joakim,1960–


    [SAK.English]


    SørenKierkegaard:abiography/JoakimGarff;translatedbyBruceH.Kirmmse.


    p. cm.


    Includesbibliographicalreferences(p.)andindex.


    ISBN0-691-09165-X(cl:alk.paper)


    1.Kierkegaard,Søren,1813–1855.2.Philosophers—Denmark—Biography.I.Title.


    B4376.G28 2005


    198′.9—dc22


    [B] 2004044525


    BritishLibraryCataloging-in-PublicationDataisavailable


    ThisbookwastranslatedwiththekindfinancialsupportoftheDanishLiteratureCentre,


    theGadsFoundation,theRoyalDanishEmbassyinWashington,D.C.,andthe


    CharlesLacyLockertFundofPrincetonUniversityPress.


    ThisbookhasbeencomposedinBembotypeface


    Printedonacid-freepaper.∞


    press.princeton.edu


    PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica


    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


    1813–1834


    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


    1835


    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


    1836


    “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


    1837


    Storm and Stress? 102


    Maria 111


    Bringing Gloom to Rented Rooms 115


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


    Reading Binge 122


    1838


    “There Is an Indescribable Joy” 126


    Death of a Merchant 128


    “The Great Earthquake” 131


    From the Papers of One Still Living 138


    1839


    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


    1840


    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


    1841


    On the Concept of Irony 192


    1842


    Stark Naked in Berlin 199


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


    The Incidental Tourist 206


    1843


    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


    1844


    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


    1845


    “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


    1846


    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


    1847


    “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


    1848


    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


    1849


    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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