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Kierkegaard's Writings, XI: Stages on Life's Way

Kierkegaard's Writings, XI: Stages on Life's Way

Søren Kierkegaard
Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 808
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt24hq0r
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    Kierkegaard's Writings, XI: Stages on Life's Way
    Book Description:

    Stages on Life's Way, the sequel toEither/Or, is an intensely poetic example of Kierkegaard's vision of the three stages, or spheres, of existence: the esthetic, the ethical, and the religious. With characteristic love for mystification, he presents the work as a bundle of documents fallen by chance into the hands of "Hilarius Bookbinder," who prepared them for printing. The book begins with a banquet scene patterned on Plato's Symposium. (George Brandes maintained that "one must recognize with amazement that it holds its own in this comparison.") Next is a discourse by "Judge William" in praise of marriage "in answer to objections." The remainder of the volume, almost two-thirds of the whole, is the diary of a young man, discovered by "Frater Taciturnus," who was deeply in love but felt compelled to break his engagement. The work closes with a letter to the reader from Taciturnus on the three "existence-spheres" represented by the three parts of the book.

    Stages on Life's Waynot only repeats themes, characters, and pseudonymous authors of the earlier works but also goes beyond them and points to further development of central ideas inConcluding Unscientific Postscript.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4698-6
    Subjects: Philosophy
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION (pp. vii-xviii)

    On the front flyleaf of the newly published workEither/Or(February 20, 1843), Kierkegaard wrote:

    Some think thatEither/Oris a collection of loose papers I had lying in my desk. Bravo!—As a matter of fact, it was the reverse. The only thing this work lacks is a narrative, which I did begin but omitted, just as Aladdin left a window incomplete. It was to be called “Unhappy Love.” It was to form a contrast to the Seducer.¹

    He later wrote in his journal:

    Even while I was writingEither/OrI had it [the narrative] in mind and frequently...

  4. STAGES ON LIFE’S WAY: STUDIES BY VARIOUS PERSONS
    • LECTORI BENEVOLO! (pp. 3-6)

      Inasmuch as there ought to be honesty in everything, especially in the realm of truth and in the world of books, also since no distinguished professor or man of high standing should resent it if a bookbinder, instead of minding his own business, mingles unauthorized with the literati, a shameless boldness that could also prompt severe judgment on the book and possibly have the result that many, scandalized by the bookbinder, would not read the book at all—there follows hereupon the truthful history of the book.

      Several years ago a literatus well known to me sent a considerable number...

    • “IN VINO VERITAS” A RECOLLECTION (pp. 7-86)

      What a splendid occupation to prepare a secret for oneself, how seductive to enjoy it, and yet at times how precarious to have enjoyed it, how easy for it to miscarry for one. In other words, if someone believes that a secret is transferable as a matter of course, that it can belong to the bearer, he is mistaken, for the [riddle] “Out of the eater comes something to eat”¹⁴ is valid here; but if anyone thinks that the only difficulty entailed in enjoying it is not to betray it, he is also mistaken, for one also takes on the...

    • SOME REFLECTIONS ON MARRIAGE IN ANSWER TO OBJECTIONS (pp. 87-184)

      My dear reader, if you do not have the time and opportunity to take a dozen years of your life to travel around the world to see everything a world traveler is acquainted with, if you do not have the capability and qualifications from years of practice in a foreign language to penetrate to the differences in national characteristics as these become apparent to the research scholar, if you are not bent upon discovering a new astronomical system that will displace both the Copernican and the Ptolemaic—then marry; and if you have time for the first, the capability for...

    • “GUILTY?”/“NOT GUILTY?” A STORY OF SUFFERING. AN IMAGINARY PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION (pp. 185-397)

      Every child knows that Søborg Castle³ is a ruin that lies in north Sjælland about two miles from the coast near a little town of the same name. Although the castle has long since been destroyed, it still survives in folk memory and will survive inasmuch as it has a rich historical and historically poetic past to draw upon. In a certain sense, this is true also of Søborg Lake belonging to the castle. Originally it was about nine miles in circumference and had a depth of several fathoms to draw upon and therefore has not yet disappeared and will...

    • LETTER TO THE READER (pp. 398-494)

      My dear reader, if you in any way are of my profession, you will immediately perceive that the character conjured up here is a demoniac character in the direction of the religious—that is, tending toward it. ⁴²⁹How honestly, how amply he does his part by talking so that you can see him(loquere ut videam)[speak so that I may see], ⁴³⁰ no one knows better than I, who, often exhausted, often wearied, have been tempted to abandon him and to give up patience, which amount to the same thing, which is also why, by heeding the stars and...

  5. SUPPLEMENT
    • KEY TO REFERENCES (pp. 496-497)
    • Original Title Page of Stages on Life’s Way (pp. 498-500)
    • SELECTED ENTRIES FROM KIERKEGAARD’S JOURNALS AND PAPERS PERTAINING TO STAGES ON LIFE’S WAY (pp. 501-664)

      What in a certain sense is called “spleen” and what the mystics knew by the designation “the arid moments,” the Middle Ages knew asacedia(ἀχήδια, aridity). Gregory,Moralia in Job,XIII, p. 435:¹Virum solitarium ubique comitatur acedia . . . . . est animi remissio, mentis enervatio, neglectus religiosae exercitationis, odium projessionis, laudatrix rerum secularium[Wherever aridity encompasses a solitary man . . . . . there is a lowering of spirit, a weakening of the mind, a neglect of religious practice, a hatred of professing, a praise of secular things].* That Gregory should emphasizevirum solitariumpoints...

  6. EDITORIAL APPENDIX
    • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. 667-668)
    • COLLATION OF STAGES ON LIFE’S WAY IN THE DANISH EDITIONS OF KIERKEGAARD’S COLLECTED WORKS (pp. 669-674)
  7. NOTES (pp. 675-750)
  8. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE (pp. 751-752)
  9. INDEX (pp. 753-780)
  10. Back Matter (pp. 781-782)