Prefaces/Writing Sampler

Kierkegaard, Søren

Published by Princeton University Press, 1998
ISBN 10: 0691048274 / ISBN 13: 9780691048277
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Princeton. 1998. Princeton University Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 36. 211 pages. March 1998. hardcover. Cover design by Frank Mahood. 0691048274. keywords:. inventory # 35103. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Prefaces was the last of four books by Søren Kierkegaard to appear within a space of two weeks in June 1844. Three Upbuilding Discourses and Philosophical Fragments were published first, followed by The Concept of Anxiety. This last volume, altlhough it had the usual complement of an upbuilding work, also had a companion of a different kind, the comically ironic Prefaces, published on the same day. Presented as a set of prefaces without a book to follow, this work is a satire on literary life in nineteenth-century Copenhagen, a lampoon of Danish Hegelianism, and a prefiguring of Kierkegaard’s final collision with Danish Christendom. At the same time it tightly expresses themes characteristic of the entire authorship, including subjectivity and Christian devotion. Shortly after publishing Prefaces, Kierkegaard began to prepare Writing Sampler as a sequel. This next work considers the themes of Prefaces but in yet a more ironical and satirical vein. Writing Sampler remained among Kierkegaard’s unpublished writings during his lifetime and appears here for the first time as Kierkegaard originally envisioned it, in the company of Prefaces. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticized both the Hegelianism of his time, and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Danish church. Much of his work deals with religious problems such as faith in God, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. His early work was written under various pseudonyms who present their own distinctive viewpoints in a complex dialogue. Kierkegaard left the task of discovering the meaning of the works to the reader, because ‘the task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted’. Subsequently, many have interpreted Kierkegaard as an existentialist, neo-orthodoxist, postmodernist, humanist, individualist, etc. Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, Kierkegaard came to be regarded as a highly significant and influential figure in contemporary thought. Kierkegaard has been called a philosopher, a theologian, the Father of Existentialism, a literary critic, a humorist, a psychologist, and a poet. Two of his popular ideas are ‘subjectivity’, and the ‘leap to faith,’ popularly referred to as the ‘leap of faith.’ The leap of faith is his conception of how an individual would believe in God, or how a person would act in love. It is not a rational decision, as it is transcending rationality in favour of something more uncanny, that is, faith. As such he thought that to have faith is at the same time to have doubt. So, for example, for one to truly have faith in God, one would also have to doubt that God exists; the doubt is the rational part of a person’s thought, without which the faith would have no real substance. Doubt is an essential element of faith, an underpinning. In plain words, to believe or have faith that God exists, without ever having doubted God’s existence or goodness, would not be a faith worth having. For example, it takes no faith to believe that a pencil or a table exists, when one is looking at it and touching it. In the same way, to believe or have faith in God is to know that one has no perceptual or any other access to God, and yet still has faith in God. Kierkegaard also stressed the importance of the self, and the self’s relation to the world as being grounded in self-reflection and introspection. He argued in Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments that ‘subjectivity is truth’ and ‘truth is subjectivity.’ This has to do with a dist. Bookseller Inventory #

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Prefaces was the last of four books by Søren Kierkegaard to appear within two weeks in June 1844. Three Upbuilding Discourses and Philosophical Fragments were published first, followed by The Concept of Anxiety and its companion--published on the same day--the comically ironic Prefaces. Presented as a set of prefaces without a book to follow, this work is a satire on literary life in nineteenth-century Copenhagen, a lampoon of Danish Hegelianism, and a prefiguring of Kierkegaard's final collision with Danish Christendom.


Shortly after publishing Prefaces, Kierkegaard began to prepare Writing Sampler as a sequel. Writing Sampler considers the same themes taken up in Prefaces but in yet a more ironical and satirical vein. Although Writing Sampler remained unpublished during his lifetime, it is presented here as Kierkegaard originally envisioned it, in the company of Prefaces.


Language Notes: Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Danish

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Prefaces/Writing Sampler
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.

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