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The Quotable Kierkegaard by Soren Kierkegaard. Princeton. 2013. Princeton University Press. hardcover. 234 pages. Jacket illustration: Details of Sketch of Soren Kierkegaard based on a sketch by Niels Christian Kierkegaard (1806-1882). Edited by Gordon Marino. 9780691155302.

 

9780691155302FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND AUTHORITATIVE COLLECTION OF KIERKEGAARD QUOTATIONS EVER PUBLISHED. ‘The Quotable Kierkegaard serves equally well as an introduction or a reference book. There is no better way to sample the unique flavor of Kierkegaard’s thought. And if you ever need a quotation for a speech or a sermon, for an epigraph or an epitaph, for a dedication or a denunciation, you’re sure to find a striking one here.’ - David Lodge, author of Small World, Therapy, and other novels. ‘Why I so much prefer autumn to spring is that in the autumn one looks at heaven - in the spring at the earth.’ - Søren Kierkegaard. The father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) was a philosopher who could write like an angel. With only a sentence or two, he could plumb the depths of the human spirit. In this collection of some 800 quotations, the reader will find dazzling bon mots next to words of life-changing power. Drawing from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard’s writings, this book presents a broad selection of his wit and wisdom, as well as a stimulating introduction to his life and work. Organized by topic, this volume covers notable Kierkegaardian concerns such as anxiety, despair, existence, irony, and the absurd, but also erotic love, the press, busyness, and the comic. Here readers will encounter both well-known quotations (‘Life must be understood backward. But then one forgets the other principle, that it must be lived forward’) and obscure ones (‘Beware false prophets who come to you in wolves’ clothing but inwardly are sheep - i.e., the phrasemongers’). Those who spend time in these pages will discover the writer who said ‘my grief is my castle,’ but who also taught that ‘the best defense against hypocrisy is love.’ Illuminating and delightful, this engaging book also provides a substantial portrait of one of the most influential of modern thinkers; Gathers some 800 quotations; Drawn from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard’s writings; Includes an introduction, a brief account and timeline of Kierkegaard’s life, a guide to further reading, and an index.

 

 

Kierkegaard Soren Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a 'single individual', giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was a fierce critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Swedenborg, Hegel, Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel and Hans Christian Andersen. Kierkegaard's theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, and the individual's subjective relationship to the God-Man Jesus Christ, which came through faith. Much of his work deals with the art of Christian love. He was extremely critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. Kierkegaard's early work was written under various pseudonyms which he used to present distinctive viewpoints and interact with each other in complex dialogue. He assigned pseudonyms to explore particular viewpoints in-depth, which required several books in some instances, while Kierkegaard, openly or under another pseudonym, critiqued that position. He wrote many Upbuilding Discourses under his own name and dedicated them to the 'single individual' who might want to discover the meaning of his works. Notably, he wrote: 'Science and scholarship want to teach that becoming objective is the way. Christianity teaches that the way is to become subjective, to become a subject.' While scientists can learn about the world by observation, Kierkegaard emphatically denied that observation could reveal the inner workings of the spiritual world. Some of Kierkegaard's key ideas include the concept of 'Truth as Subjectivity', the knight of faith, the recollection and repetition dichotomy, angst, the infinite qualitative distinction, faith as a passion, and the three stages on life's way. Kierkegaard's writings were written in Danish and were initially limited to Scandinavia, but by the turn of the 20th century, his writings were translated into major European languages, such as French and German. By the mid-20th century, his thought exerted a substantial influence on philosophy, theology, and Western culture.

Gordon Marino is professor of philosophy and director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He is the author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age, the coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard, and the editor of Basic Writings of Existentialism.

 

 

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