In Either/Or, using the voices of two characters - the aesthetic young man of part one, called simply 'A', and the ethical Judge Vilhelm of the second section - Kierkegaard reflects upon the search for a meaningful existence, contemplating subjects as diverse as Mozart, drama, boredom, and, in the famous Seducer's Diary, the cynical seduction and ultimate rejection of a young, beautiful woman. A masterpiece of duality, Either/Or is a brilliant exploration of the conflict between the aesthetic and the ethical - both meditating ironically and seductively upon Epicurean pleasures, and eloquently expounding the noble virtues of a morally upstanding life.
'The love of repetition is in truth the only happy love' So says Constantine Constantius on the first page of Kierkegaard's Repetition. Life itself, according to Kierkegaard's pseudonymous narrator, is a repetition, and in the course of this witty, playful work Constantius explores the nature of love and happiness, the passing of time and the importance of moving forward (and backward). The ironically entitled Philosophical Crumbs pursues the investigation of faith and love and their tense relationship with reason. Written only a year apart, these two works complement each other and give the reader a unique insight into the breadth and substance of Kierkegaard's thought. The first reads like a novel and the second like a Platonic dialogue, but both engage, in different ways, the same challenging issues. These are the first translations to convey the literary quality and philosophical precision of the originals. They were not intended, however, for philosophers, but for anyone who feels drawn to the question of the ultimate truth of human existence and the source of human happiness. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Author: Soren Kierkegaard
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2015-08-06
One of the greatest thinkers of the nineteenth century, Søren Kierkegaard (1814-55) often expressed himself through pseudonyms and disguises. Taken from his personal writings, these private reflections reveal the development of his own thought and personality, from his time as a young student to the deep later internal conflict that formed the basis for his masterpiece of duality Either/Or and beyond. Expressing his beliefs with a freedom not seen in works he published during his lifetime, Kierkegaard here rejects for the first time his father's conventional Christianity and forges the revolutionary idea of the 'leap of faith' required for true religious belief. A combination of theoretical argument, vivid natural description and sharply honed wit, the Papers and Journals reveal to the full the passionate integrity of his lifelong efforts 'to find a truth which is truth for me'.
Soren Kierkegaard reflects poetically and philosophically on the biblical story of God's command to Abraham, that he sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of faith. Was Abraham's proposed action morally and religiously justified or murder? Is there an absolute duty to God? Was Abraham justified in remaining silent? In pondering these questions, Kierkegaard presents faith as a paradox that cannot be understood by reason and conventional morality.
The Sickness unto Death, Kierkegaard moves beyond anxiety on the mental-emotional level to the spiritual level, where--in contact with the eternal--anxiety becomes despair. Both anxiety and despair reflect the misrelation that arises in the self when the elements of the synthesis--the infinite and the finite--do not come into proper relation to each other. Despair is a deeper expression for anxiety and is a mark of the eternal, which is intended to penetrate temporal existence.
Author: Søren Kierkegaard
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2006-02-20
Genre: Literary Criticism
Diary of a Seducer records Johannes's discovery of a girl with the Shakespearean name Cordelia, whom he sets out to control. Intricately, meticulously, cunningly, the seduction proceeds. No detail is too small to escape Johannes. "She sits on the sofa by the tea table and I sit on a chair at her side. This position has an intimate quality and at the same time a detaching dignity." Less erotic than an intellectual depiction of seduction, Diary of a Seducer shows the casuist Kierkegaard in what he characterized as the aesthetic mode. A new introduction by Michael Dirda puts this influential novella into high relief.
Of the many works he wrote during 1848, his "richest and most fruitful year," Kierkegaard specified Practice in Christianity as "the most perfect and truest thing." In his reflections on such topics as Christ's invitation to the burdened, the imitatio Christi, the possibility of offense, and the exalted Christ, he takes as his theme the requirement of Christian ideality in the context of divine grace. Addressing clergy and laity alike, Kierkegaard asserts the need for institutional and personal admission of the accommodation of Christianity to the culture and to the individual misuse of grace. As a corrective defense, the book is an attempt to find, ideally, a basis for the established order, which would involve the order's ability to acknowledge the Christian requirement, confess its own distance from it, and resort to grace for support in its continued existence. At the same time the book can be read as the beginning of Kierkegaard's attack on Christendom. Because of the high ideality of the contents and in order to prevent the misunderstanding that he himself represented that ideality, Kierkegaard writes under a new pseudonym, Anti-Climacus.
Examines early Greek philosophy, which relied on reasoning and forged the first scientific vocabulary, and includes discussion of such topics as Democritus' atomic theory of matter and Pythagorean insights into mathematics.
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2003-08-28
The Greek statesman Polybius (c.200–118 BC) wrote his account of the relentless growth of the Roman Empire in order to help his fellow countrymen understand how their world came to be dominated by Rome. Opening with the Punic War in 264 BC, he vividly records the critical stages of Roman expansion: its campaigns throughout the Mediterranean, the temporary setbacks inflicted by Hannibal and the final destruction of Carthage. An active participant of the politics of his time as well as a friend of many prominent Roman citizens, Polybius drew on many eyewitness accounts in writing this cornerstone work of history.
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2007-03-01
Marrying deft social commentary to a rich, earthy comedy, the three comedies collected in Aristophanes' The Frogs and Other Plays offers a unique insight into one of the most turbulent periods in Ancient Greek history. This Penguin Classics edition is translated by David Barrett with revisions, an introduction and notes by Shomit Dutta. The master of ancient Greek comic drama, Aristophanes combined slapstick, humour and cheerful vulgarity with acute political observations. In The Frogs, written during the Peloponnesian War, Dionysus descends to the Underworld to bring back a poet who can help Athens in its darkest hour, and stages a great debate to help him decide between the traditional wisdom of Aeschylus and the brilliant modernity of Euripides. The clash of generations and values is also the object of Aristophanes' satire in Wasps, in which an old-fashioned father and his loose-living son come to blows and end up in court. And in Women at the Thesmophoria, the famous Greek tragedian Euripides, accused of misogyny, persuades a relative to infiltrate an all-women festival to find out whether revenge is being plotted against him. Shomit Dutta's introduction discusses Aristophanes' life, the cultural context of his work and conventions of Greek comedy. This updated version of David Barrett's translation also includes extensive notes and a preface for each play. Aristophanes (c.445-386 BC) was probably born in Athens. Little is known about his life, but there is a portrait of him in Plato's Symposium. He was twice threatened with prosecution for his outspoken attacks on the prominent politician Cleon, but in 405 he was publicly honoured and crowned for promoting Athenian civic unity in The Frogs. Aristophanes had his first comedy produced when he was about twenty-one, and wrote forty plays in all. The eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes are published in the Penguin Classics series as The Birds and Other Plays, Lysistrata and Other Plays, The Wasps and Other Plays and The Frogs and Other Plays. If you enjoyed The Frogs and Other Plays, you might like Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Other Plays, also available in Penguin Classics.
This is a book that will wrestle with your soul at the deepest level, yet it is written in language that will deal with your mind in the most simple terms, without demanding you to take a leap of arcane philosophical knowledge. Here is Kierkegaard for all of us: the philosopher who holds a mirror to one's innermost being and at the same time aims a Hubble telescope right at God. One way or another, this book is bound to change your life.