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Kierkegaard: A Biography

Kierkegaard: A Biography

$34.95 (G)

  • Date Published: May 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521531818

$ 34.95 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Written by one of the world's preeminent authorities on Kierkegard, this biography is the first to reveal the delicate imbrication of Kierkegard's life and thought. To grasp the importance and influence of Kierkegaard's thought far beyond his native Denmark, it is necessary to trace the many factors that led this gifted but (according to his headmaster) 'exceedingly childish youth' to grapple with traditional philosophical problems and religious themes in a way that later generations would recognize as amounting to a philosophical revolution. Although Kierkegaard's works are widely tapped and cited they are seldom placed in context. Nor is due attention placed to their chronology. However, perhaps more than the work of any other contributor to the Western philosophical tradition, these writings are so closely meshed with the background and details of the author's life that knowledge of this is indispensible to their content. Alastair Hannay solves these problems by following the chronological sequence of events and focusing on the formative stages of his career from the success of his first, pseudonymous work ^Either/Or through to The Sickness Unto Death and Practice in Christianity. This book offers a powerful narrative account which will be of particular interest to philosophers, literary theorists, intellectual historians, and scholars of religious studies as well as any non-specialist looking for an authoritative guide to the life and work of one of the most original and fascinating figures in Western philosophy. Alastair Hannay is Professor Emeritus in the department of philosophy at the University of Oslo. He is the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion of Kierkegaard (1998) and is also translator of several works by Kierkegaard in Penguin Classics.

    • Hannay the leading authority on Kierkegaard; has done many translations for Penguin series
    • Kierkegaard a philosopher (like Nietzsche) who interests people outside philosophy in hist. of ideas, lit. theory, and religious studies
    • Hannay is co-editor of the successful Cambridge Companion to Kiekegaard
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[A] welcome addition...Hannay gives a penetrating analysis of Kierkegaard's authorship...[T]here is much to be celebrated in this work. This book is highly recommended to anyone who is interested in the life or works of Kierkegaard. Even the Kierkegaard scholar will undoubtedly learn something new from reading Hannay's fine book." Noel S. Adams, Marquette University, Review of Metaphysics

    "Hannay writes as a seasoned philosopher and gifted translator, offering ample and even-handed expositions of Kierkegaard's published works and their immediate polemical contexts, and refusing to collapse their liveliness into a sorry bundle of suffering and self-pity....this prudent, tactful and canny new life is exactly what Kierkegaard needed." Times Literary Supplement

    "Alastair Hannay has devoted enormous efforts to familiarize himself with what was going on in Denmark in Kierkegaard's time, and with the details of the controversies in which he embroiled himself. The result is a biography that gives us a much clearer understanding of many of Kierkegaard's writings, and is indispensible for anyone trying to follow the twists and turns of his thought." Richard Rorty, author of Contingency, Irony & Solidarity

    "...a superb biography of a man whose life has often been misunderstood...The result is perhaps the best picture yet of Kierkegaard and his place in Western philosophical thought...this book should find its way into every academic and large public library." Library Journal

    "Hannay advances an interpretive thesis that unties Kierkegaard's life with his work, thereby giving both a new integrity and coherence...remarkable thoroughness and plausibility...Compelling reading for anyone with an interest in modern philosophy." Booklist

    "...a lucid and concientiously written book that pays dazzling attention to the fine details." Harper's

    "[A] thorough intellectual biography..." The New Republic

    "Hannay advances an interpetive thesis that unties Kierkgaard's life with his work, thereby giving both a new integrity and coherence....remarkable thoroughness and plausibility....Compelling reading for anyone with an interest in modern philosophy." Booklist

    ..."a lucid and conscientiously written book that pays dazzling attention to the fine details." Guy Davenport Harper's Magazine Aug. 2001

    [A] thorough intellectual biography..." New Republic

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521531818
    • length: 522 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. From street to salon: first blood
    2. The matter with Søren
    3. A Faustian phase
    4. The wild geese fly
    5. The dead and the living: debut
    6. Serious about irony: the dissertation
    7. The breach and Berlin: either/or
    8. Faith and tragic heroism
    9. More to being
    10. Notabene's meditation
    11. Completing the stages
    12. Concluding business
    13. Reviewing the age
    14. Refashioning the exterior
    15. Works of love
    16. Defining the deed
    17. Mischievous martyr
    18. 'Poor Kierkegaard

  • Author

    Alastair Hannay, Universitetet i Oslo

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