Kierkegaard's Writings, III, Part I by Søren Kierkegaard
Either/Or. Part I

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Søren Kierkegaard, the nineteenth-century Danish philosopher rediscovered in the twentieth century, is a major influence in contemporary philosophy, religion, and literature. He regarded Either/Or as the beginning of his authorship, although he had published two earlier works on Hans Christian Andersen and irony. The pseudonymous volumes of Either/Or are the writings of a young man (I) and of Judge William (II). The ironical young man's papers include a collection of sardonic aphorisms; essays on Mozart, modern drama, and boredom; and "The Seducer's Diary." The seeming miscellany is a reflective presentation of aspects of the "either," the esthetic view of life.

Part II is an older friend's "or," the ethical life of integrated, authentic personhood, elaborated in discussions of personal becoming and of marriage. The resolution of the "either/or" is left to the reader, for there is no Part III until the appearance of Stages on Life's Way. The poetic-reflective creations of a master stylist and imaginative impersonator, the two men write in distinctive ways appropriate to their respective positions.


About Søren Kierkegaard

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Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Soren Kierkegaard was the son of a wealthy middle-class merchant. He lived all his life on his inheritance, using it to finance his literary career. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen, completing a master's thesis in 1841 on the topic of irony in Socrates. At about this time, he became engaged to a woman he loved, but he broke the engagement when he decided that God had destined him not to marry. The years 1841 to 1846 were a period of intense literary activity for Kierkegaard, in which he produced his "authorship," a series of writings of varying forms published under a series of fantastic pseudonyms. Parallel to these, he wrote a series of shorter Edifying Discourses, quasi-sermons published under his own name. As he later interpreted it in the posthumously published Point of View for My Work as an Author, the authorship was a systematic attempt to raise the question of what it means to be a Christian. Kierkegaard was persuaded that in his time people took the meaning of the Christian life for granted, allowing all kinds of worldly and pagan ways of thinking and living to pass for Christian. He applied this analysis especially to the speculative philosophy of German idealism. After 1846, Kierkegaard continued to write, publishing most works under his own name. Within Denmark he was isolated and often despised, a man whose writings had little impact in his own day or for a long time afterward. They were translated into German early in the twentieth century and have had an enormous influence since then, on both Christian theology and the existentialist tradition in philosophy.
Published April 21, 2013 by Princeton University Press. 725 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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