Sylviane Agacinski's Aparte: Conceptions and Deaths of Soren Kierkegaard PDF

By Sylviane Agacinski

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Additional info for Aparte: Conceptions and Deaths of Soren Kierkegaard (Kierkegaard and postmodernism)

Sample text

A representative if not formative case in this respect is David Swenson, one of the pioneering thinkers who helped introduce Kierkegaard to an American readership. It would be difficult to overestimate the emblematic value of his own discovery of Kierkegaard and the conversion scene that followed. 1 1. The fact that the story is told twice in the introductory material to the current edition of the Postscript, once by Swenson's widow and then again by his editor, serves to emphasize its almost hagiographic character.

Discovering Agacinski on Kierkegaard, then, is like discovering in Kierkegaard an opening or mobility that is different from what we have become used to finding there and always again expect to find there; it repeats or translates a Kierkegaard that many of us can't recollect was there in the first place. It disrupts our habits as well as our linear concept of temporality. How does something like this happen? Page 4 It happens, of course, through an act of reading, and the kind of reading practiced by Sylviane Agacinski is so remote from us, so foreign to the Anglo-American tradition of Kierkegaard studies that it stands in need of some sort of introduction.

Page 6 The mere mention of the name Adorno in connection with Kierkegaard, of course, begins to reveal how different were the configuration and development of Kierkegaard criticism in Europe than in the United States. Almost without exception, the American reception of Kierkegaard, already associated with such thinkers as Tillich, Niebuhr, Barth, Bultmann, and Buber, remained for quite some time firmly tied to the immediately pragmatic questions of an individual's spiritual life within or without a specific community of believers and for this reason was far less speculative and contextually rooted than some of the contemporary interest in Kierkegaard in Europe.

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Aparte: Conceptions and Deaths of Soren Kierkegaard (Kierkegaard and postmodernism) by Sylviane Agacinski


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