Both/and: Reading Kierkegaard from Irony to Edification

Both/and: Reading Kierkegaard from Irony to Edification

Both/and: Reading Kierkegaard from Irony to Edification

Both/and: Reading Kierkegaard from Irony to Edification

Synopsis

¿Strawser addresses the problematic but natural relationship between Kierkegaard and postmodernism and offers exciting possibilities. ¿an impressive contribution.¿ -The Midwest Book Review Both/And is a new interpretation of Kierkegaard's writings which attempts to make sense of a very diverse authorship by offering a comprehensive interpretation of both Kierkegaard's so-called aesthetic and his religious writings. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) stands for a turning point in philosophy from a systematic philosophy - which, with its focus on objectivity, attempts to place itself on the secure path of science - to a "philosophy" that focuses its attention in subjectivity and openly acknowledges itself as fragmentary and provisional. Strawser examines Kierkegaard's works as religious, aesthetic/poetic, and philosophical and argues that irony runs through both the aesthetic and the religious works - indeed, Kierkegaard referred to himself as the Magister of Irony. But Strawser goes beyond these boundaries to draw in the interpretation of Kierkegaard's writing not a line which cuts off the aesthetic from the religious, but connects them. This is what Strawser calls the line from irony to edification. This line is the line of both/and, the line of connection. Strawser addresses the problematic but natural relationship between Kierkegaard and postmodernism and offers exciting possibilities. Strawser believes that contemporary postmodern philosophical considerations aid a critical reading of Kierkegaard, but such a reading must not be overwhelmed by them. Such a comprehensive reading is what Strawser offers the reader in Both/And.

Excerpt

Precisely in the degree to which I understand a thinker I become indifferent to his reality; that is, to his existence as a particular individual, to his having realized his teaching, and so forth.

Johannes Climacus, cup 289

Were the reader to cast a look back over the distance traveled, it might not be without a certain happy surprise that he or she reflects on the unusual and fecund islands visited. Although making the acquaintance of many new personae such as S. Kjerkegaard, an Echo, Willibald, Severinus Kierkegaard, and Johannes Climacus, one must readily acknowledge that, of all the works treated thus far--From the Papers of One Still Living, The Battle Between the Old and the New Soap-Cellars (although briefly), The Concept of Irony with Constant Reference to Socrates, and Johannes Climacus, Or, De omnibus dubitandum est--not one contains a pseudonym. Consequently, up to this point, the reader has had no occasion to grapple with the complicated problem of pseudonymity, a problem that is usually cited as a prerequisite for reading Kierkegaard.

This does not mean, however, that readers have been freed from "the problem of reading": the somewhat mysterious way in which meaning arises through the interaction of a person and a text. One may even see that this problem shares a certain relatedness to the problem of pseudonymity--for both problems are raised in order to avoid material extraneous to the text, such as an actual author. Indeed, the problem of reading is that of appropriation, and it is generally conceded that perhaps the most important reason for the pseudonyms is to facilitate the personal appropriation of whatever a reader makes of a given text. Still, as I see it, the problem of pseudonymity remains little more than shorthand for . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.