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The Essential Kierkegaard [Paperback]

By Soren Kierkegaard (Author), Howard V. Hong (Editor) & Edna H. Hong (Editor)
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Item description for The Essential Kierkegaard by Soren Kierkegaard, Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong...

The most comprehensive anthology of Soren Kierkegaard's works ever assembled in English is drawn from the volumes of Princeton's "Kierkegaard's Writings" series. The selections reveal the powerful mix of philosophy, psychology, theology and literary criticism that made Kierkegaard one of the most compelling writers of the 19th century.

Publishers Description

This is the most comprehensive anthology of Soren Kierkegaard's works ever assembled in English. Drawn from the volumes of Princeton's authoritative "Kierkegaard's Writings" series by editors Howard and Edna Hong, 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. With an introduction to Kierkegaard's writings as a whole and explanatory notes for each selection, this is the essential one-volume guide to a thinker who changed the course of modern intellectual history.

The anthology begins with Kierkegaard's early journal entries and traces the development of his work chronologically to the final "The Changelessness of God." The book presents generous selections from all of Kierkegaard's landmark works, including "Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, Works of Love," and "The Sickness unto Death," and draws new attention to a host of such lesser-known writings as "Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions" and "The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air." The selections are carefully chosen to reflect the unique character of Kierkegaard's work, with its shifting pseudonyms, its complex dialogues, and its potent combination of irony, satire, sermon, polemic, humor, and fiction. We see the esthetic, ethical, and ethical-religious ways of life initially presented as dialogue in two parallel series of pseudonymous and signed works and later in the "second authorship" as direct address. And we see the themes that bind the whole together, in particular Kierkegaard's overarching concern with, in his own words, "What it means to exist; . . . what it means to be a human being."

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.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Essential Kierkegaard by Soren Kierkegaard, Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Choice - 02/01/2001 page 1095

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Princeton University Press
Pages   544
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.12" Height: 1.19"
Weight:   1.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 19, 2000
Publisher   Princeton University Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0691019401  
ISBN13  9780691019406  

Availability  57 units.
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More About Soren Kierkegaard, Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong

Soren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking, and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was a fierce critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Swedenborg, Hegel, Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hans Christian Andersen.

His theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, and the individual's subjective relationship to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, which came through faith. Much of his work deals with the art of Christian love. He was extremely critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices.

Soren Kierkegaard was born in 1813 and died in 1855.

Soren Kierkegaard has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
  2. Concluding Unscientific Postscripts to Philosophical Fragmen
  3. Harper Torchbooks
  4. Harperperennial Modern Thought
  5. Kierkegaard's Writings (Paperback)
  6. New York Review Books (Paperback)
  7. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  8. Penguin Classics
  9. Phoenix Books

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements > Existentialism
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Religious
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( K ) > Kierkegaard, Soren

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Essential Kierkegaard?

May the laughter by on your side  Oct 3, 2003
With a dizzying series of pseudonyms, from Climaticus to Anticlimaticus, this book selects from the Hong's expansive translation of all of Kierkegaard's writings. The introductions place each piece in context, but don't over interpret as some other books. Reading from the complete work presents a view of Kierkegaard's total plan ("The Authorship") and his voices of the religious, esthetic, and ethical. In light of the whole body, "Concluding Unscientific postscript" seems to have a pivotal role. Existentialists may like to claim him as he speaks of the individual about despair, fear and trembling, and anxiety, but make no mistake his work is to be a Christian (" Once and for all I must urgently request the kindly disposed reader continually to bear in mente [in mind] that the total thought in the entire work as an author is this" becoming a Christian"). He is a self appointed critic of the established church and the inclusion of the lesser known "The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air' shows the religious side. Present are all of Kierkegaard's "Knights": the Knight of Faith, the Knight of Infinite Resignation, and the Knight of Hidden Awareness. Humor and irony abound. Come leap in, and have a good read!
haven't read this particular edition of Kierkegard  Jan 17, 2002
nevertheleee... introduced to man as on of
the four main existentialist.., nietsche,
camus sartre... maybe fifth antoine de
st. exupery's flight to arras

however.. suffice to comment.. kierkegard
is mellow man

the triumvirate brace of christianic
philosophy is soren kierkegard, and
the psychologists, bruto bettleheim,
harry stack sullivan, and karen horney

best wishes,
enjoy one's own bibliophilic bent

coastwatch quadrant 8,
truk atoll, caroline islands,south pacific

"Best of Soren Kierkegaard"  Oct 21, 2001
I am of Danish descent, so I is nice to hear from the motherland. However, I am not of K's tradition, so this is an outsider's look at Mr. K's philosophy.

I am quite impressed with what Mr. K has to say. It took me a while to get into his style of speaking and writing, but one I picked up his dialect, I was awestruck! Sometimes titles not only grab you, but mesmerize you. His essay "Sickness unto Death," which I had heard of in passing, was one of these titles that I just could not get out of my head.

The advantage of this compilation is that it is done by the General Editors of the "Collected Works of S. K.," so the translation, pagination and diction are all the same in the individual books and this small hors d'oeuvre plate. Having used various translations of Machiaveli, or different editions of Plato, it is nice to have one standard translation.

I recommend book as a being like a "Best of Kierkegaard," much like a "Best of" CD from an unknown band. You get the good stuff, eliminate all the filler material, and can buy the individual books if you so choose.

As I said, I am not of K's faith, but I appreciate his faithfulness in search for truth!

Excellent Anthology  Jul 2, 2001
A wonderful, chronologically arranged anthology from the immensely prodigious output of Soren Kierkegaard, complete with excellent introductory notes.

My only criticism? The typography is a bit dense, and in particular the font size for the running text is small. I would appeal to the publisher to reformat this book using a larger text size (e.g., 10 point) -- even at the expense of adding additional pages to the overall book size.

The Master of Irony  May 12, 2001
Søren Kierkegaard is undoubtedly the comedian's philosopher. And his humor is fundamentally reassuring - hilarious, even biting, but never bitter or nihilistic. He is one of the major influences on the films and writings of Woody Allen. Often Kierkegaard is rumored to be bleak, hopeless and terrifying. There are elements of despair, yes, but I've always found him good for a laugh even at his darkest. His humor is similar to Woody Allen's in that it is simultaneously cathartic, sobering and very funny. I flip around this excellent anthology and re-read passages in my spare time for encouragement.

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