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Written by one of the world's preeminent authorities on Kierkegard, this biography is the first to reveal the delicate imbrication of Kierkegard's life and thought. To grasp the importance and influence of Kierkegaard's thought far beyond his native Denmark, it is necessary to trace the many factors that led this gifted but (according to his headmaster) 'exceedingly childish youth' to grapple with traditional philosophical problems and religious themes in a way that later generations would recognize as amounting to a philosophical revolution. Although Kierkegaard's works are widely tapped and cited they are seldom placed in context. Nor is due attention placed to their chronology. However, perhaps more than the work of any other contributor to the Western philosophical tradition, these writings are so closely meshed with the background and details of the author's life that knowledge of this is indispensible to their content. Alastair Hannay solves these problems by following the chronological sequence of events and focusing on the formative stages of his career from the success of his first, pseudonymous work —Either/Or through to The Sickness Unto Death and Practice in Christianity. This book offers a powerful narrative account which will be of particular interest to philosophers, literary theorists, intellectual historians, and scholars of religious studies as well as any non-specialist looking for an authoritative guide to the life and work of one of the most original and fascinating figures in Western philosophy. Alastair Hannay is Professor Emeritus in the department of philosophy at the University of Oslo. He is the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion of Kierkegaard (1998) and is also translator of several works by Kierkegaard in Penguin Classics.
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. From street to salon: first blood; 2. The matter with Søren; 3. A Faustian phase; 4. The wild geese fly; 5. The dead and the living: debut; 6. Serious about irony: the dissertation; 7. The breach and Berlin: either/or; 8. Faith and tragic heroism; 9. More to being; 10. Notabene's meditation; 11. Completing the stages; 12. Concluding business; 13. Reviewing the age; 14. Refashioning the exterior; 15. Works of love; 16. Defining the deed; 17. Mischievous martyr; 18. 'Poor Kierkegaard; Bibliography.
Posted October 21, 2009
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