Happy 200th birthday to Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)! The nineteenth-century Danish philosopher is considered the father existentialism, as he held controversial and insightful contemporary views on life and theology. His unique concepts of love, religion, and self-awareness hold serious significance into the twenty first century, and remain central to discussions concerning not only philosophy and theology, but also fields such as social thought, psychology, contemporary aesthetics, and literary theory. Today, celebrate Søren by reading his own words (free chapter excerpts below!).
Encounters with Kierkegaard: A Life as Seen by His Contemporaries
Collected, edited, and annotated by Bruce H. Kirmmse
Translated by Bruce H. Kirmmse and Virginia R. Laursen
This is a collection of every known eyewitness account of the great Danish thinker. Through many sharp observations of family members, friends and acquaintances, supporters and opponents, the life story of this elusive and remarkable figure comes into focus, offering a rare portrait of Kierkegaard the man.
Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography
Joakim Garff, Translated by Bruce H. Kirmmse
Read Chapter 1
“The day will come when not only my writings, but precisely my life–the intriguing secret of all the machinery–will be studied and studied.” Kierkegaard’s remarkable combination of genius and peculiarity made this a fair if arrogant prediction. But Kierkegaard’s life has been notoriously hard to study, so complex was the web of fact and fiction in his work. Garff’s biography of Kierkegaard is thus a landmark achievement. A seamless blend of history, philosophy, and psychological insight, all conveyed with novelistic verve, this is the most comprehensive and penetrating account yet written of the life and works of the enigmatic Dane who changed the course of intellectual history.
The Essential Kierkegaard
Edited by Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong
This is the most comprehensive anthology of Søren Kierkegaard’s works ever assembled in English. 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. 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.
Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death (New in Paperback)
Translated and with notes by Walter Lowrie, new introduction by Gordon Marino
Walter Lowrie’s classic, bestselling translation of Søren Kierkegaard’s most important and popular books remains unmatched for its readability and literary quality. Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death established Kierkegaard as the father of existentialism and have come to define his contribution to philosophy. Lowrie’s translation, first published in 1941 and later revised, was the first in English, and it has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to Kierkegaard’s thought.
The Humor of Kierkegaard: An Anthology
Edited and introduced by Thomas C. Oden
Check out the Introduction
Who might reasonably be nominated as the funniest philosopher of all time? With this anthology, Thomas Oden provisionally declares Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)–despite his enduring stereotype as the melancholy, despairing Dane–as, among philosophers, the most amusing. Kierkegaard not only explored comic perception to its depths but also practiced the art of comedy as astutely as any writer of his time. This collection shows how his theory of comedy is integrated into his practice of comic perception, and how both are integral to his entire authorship.
The Seducer’s Diary (New in Paperback)
Read Chapter 1
Edited & translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, foreword by John Updike
“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.
A Short Life of Kierkegaard (New in Paperback)
In this classic biography, the celebrated Kierkegaard translator Walter Lowrie presents a charming and warmly appreciative introduction to the life and work of the great Danish writer. Lowrie tells the story of Kierkegaard’s emotionally turbulent life with a keen sense of drama and an acute understanding of how his life shaped his thought. The result is a wonderfully informative and entertaining portrait of one of the most important thinkers of the past two centuries. This edition also includes Lowrie’s wry essay “How Kierkegaard Got into English,” which tells the improbable story of how Lowrie became one of Kierkegaard’s principal English translators despite not learning Danish until he was in his 60s, as well as a new introduction by Kierkegaard scholar Alastair Hannay.
The Quotable Kierkegaard
Edited by Gordon Marino
Be sure to keep an eye out for this anticipated collection of quotes (October 2013). Organized by topic, this volume covers notable Kierkegaardian concerns such as anxiety, despair, existence, irony, and the absurd, but also erotic love, the press, busyness, and the comic. Here readers will encounter both well-known quotations (“Life must be understood backward. But then one forgets the other principle, that it must be lived forward“) and obscure ones (“Beware false prophets who come to you in wolves’ clothing but inwardly are sheep–i.e., the phrasemongers”). Those who spend time in these pages will discover the writer who said, “my grief is my castle,” but who also taught that “the best defense against hypocrisy is love.” Illuminating and delightful, this engaging book also provides a substantial portrait of one of the most influential of modern thinkers.