The Essential Kierkegaard

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This is the most comprehensive anthology of Søren Kierkegaard's works ever assembled in English. Drawn from the volumes of Princeton's authoritative Kierkegaard's Writings series by editors Howard and Edna Hong, the selections represent every major aspect of Kierkegaard's extraordinary career. They reveal the powerful mix of philosophy, psychology, theology, and literary criticism that made Kierkegaard one of the most compelling writers of the nineteenth century and a shaping force in the twentieth. With an introduction to Kierkegaard's writings as a whole and explanatory notes for each selection, this is the essential one-volume guide to a thinker who changed the course of modern intellectual history.

The anthology begins with Kierkegaard's early journal entries and traces the development of his work chronologically to the final The Changelessness of God. The book presents generous selections from all of Kierkegaard's landmark works, including Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, Works of Love, and The Sickness unto Death, and draws new attention to a host of such lesser-known writings as Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions and The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air. The selections are carefully chosen to reflect the unique character of Kierkegaard's work, with its shifting pseudonyms, its complex dialogues, and its potent combination of irony, satire, sermon, polemic, humor, and fiction. We see the esthetic, ethical, and ethical-religious ways of life initially presented as dialogue in two parallel series of pseudonymous and signed works and later in the "second authorship" as direct address. And we see the themes that bind the whole together, in particular Kierkegaard's overarching concern with, in his own words, "What it means to exist; . . . what it means to be a human being."

Together, the selections provide the best available introduction to Kierkegaard's writings and show more completely than any other book why his work, in all its creativity, variety, and power, continues to speak so directly today to so many readers around the world.

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What People Are Saying

The crowning achievement of [the Hongs'] monumental translation of all of Kierkegaard's published writings.... A rich and stimulating volume.... A book for everyone with an interest in Kierkegaard, from the first-time reader to the more experienced.
Bruce H. Kirmmse, editor of "Encounters with Kierkegaard"
Bruce H. Kirmmse
The crowning achievement of [the Hongs'] monumental translation of all of Kierkegaard's published writings....A rich and stimulating volume....A book for everyone with an interest in Kierkegaard, from the first-time reader to the more experienced.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691019406
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/30/2000
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 237,555
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents


Early journal Entries 3

From the Papers of One Still Living 13

The Concept of Irony, with Continual Reference to Socrates 20

Either/Or, A Fragment of Life, I 37

Either/Or, A Fragment of Life, II 66

Four Upbuilding Discourses 84

Fear and Trembling 93

Repetition 102

Philosophical Fragments, or a Fragment of Philosophy 116

Johannes Climacus, or De omnibus dubitandum. Est 126

The Concept of Anxiety 138

Prefaces 156

Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions 164

Stages on Life's Way 170

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments 187

"The Activity of a Traveling Esthetician and How

He Still Happened to Pay for the Dinner" 247

Two Ages: The Age of Revolution and The Present Age. A Literary Review 252

Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits 269

Works of Love 277

Christian Discourses 312

The Lily in the Field and the Bird o the Air 333

Two Ethical-Religious Essays 339

The Sickness unto Death 350

Practice in Christianity 373

Two Discourses at the Communion on Fridays 385

For Self-Examination [First series] 393

Judge for Yourself! For Self-Examination, Second series 404

The Book on Adler 411

Faedrelandet Articles and The Moment 424

On My Work as an Author and The Point of View

for My Work as an Author 449

The Changelessness of God 482





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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Dense and closely reasoned

    There's no quarrel with the material presented but Kierkegaard was a well-educated writer who didn't spare himself, much less his readers. Readers who have read something about existentialism and want to delve in a little deeper might find themselves quickly over their head. It's quite a jump from Wikipedia to the real thing.

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  • Posted March 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a wonderful Collection.

    For the Kierkergaardian this is a must have. Thorough and to the point a wonderful collection of the master theologian, philosopher, and psychologist.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2004

    a collection of one of the great thinkers of the past 200 yrs

    A superb collection of a great thinker and feeler, a man of flesh and bone as Unamuno said

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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