Reflections on Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard’s The Seducer’s Diary makes you think back and realize that maybe you treated your last ex perfectly fine. At least you didn’t toy with their emotions for the fun of it- or maybe you did, in which case: no judgment. M.G Piety on the Piety on Kierkegaard blog would say that The Seducer’s Diary incited different thoughts on the famed philosopher.

The new edition of The Seducer’s Diary brought back memories of years past in which Piety wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Review of Books about John Updike’s review of The Seducer’s Diary and statement that Kierkegaard had visited a brothel and subsequently fathered a child. For a man who believed that life had three stages with the first being the aesthetic- the stage which basically condemns boredom as an ultimate evil- I wouldn’t really put it past him. Bored? Go to a brothel, have some fun, emerge and go on to stage two of life: the ethical.

Check out all the links and decide for yourself!


“In the vast literature of love, The Seducer’s Diary is an intricate curiosity–a feverishly intellectual attempt to reconstruct an erotic failure as a pedagogic success, a wound masked as a boast,” observes John Updike in his foreword to Søren Kierkegaard’s narrative. This work, a chapter from Kierkegaard’s first major volume, Either/Or, springs from his relationship with his fiancée, Regine Olsen. Kierkegaard fell in love with the young woman, ten years his junior, proposed to her, but then broke off their engagement a year later. This event affected Kierkegaard profoundly. Olsen became a muse for him, and a flood of volumes resulted. His attempt to set right, in writing, what he feels was a mistake in his relationship with Olsen taught him the secret of “indirect communication.” The Seducer’s Diary, then, becomes Kierkegaard’s attempt to portray himself as a scoundrel and thus make their break easier for her.

Matters of marriage, the ethical versus the aesthetic, dread, and, increasingly, the severities of Christianity are pondered by Kierkegaard in this intense work.